Pediatric Radiology

, Volume 40, Issue 6, pp 1029–1037 | Cite as

Fetal evaluation of spine dysraphism

  • Dorothy BulasEmail author


Spinal dysraphism or neural tube defects (NTD) encompass a heterogeneous group of congenital spinal anomalies that result from the defective closure of the neural tube early in gestation with anomalous development of the caudal cell mass. Advances in ultrasound and MRI have dramatically improved the diagnosis and therapy of spinal dysraphism and caudal spinal anomalies both prenatally and postnatally. Advances in prenatal US including high frequency linear transducers and three dimensional imaging can provide detailed information concerning spinal anomalies. MR imaging is a complementary tool that can further elucidate spine abnormalities as well as associated central nervous system and non-CNS anomalies. Recent studies have suggested that 3-D CT can help further assess fetal spine anomalies in the third trimester. With the advent of fetal therapy including surgery, accurate prenatal diagnosis of open and closed spinal dysraphism becomes critical in appropriate counselling and perinatal management.


Dysraphism Fetal US MRI 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Diagnostic Imaging and Radiology, Children’s National Medical CenterThe George Washington University Medical CenterWashingtonUSA

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