Sonographic detection of open spina bifida in the first trimester: review of the literature

Abstract

In the beginnings, sonographic diagnosis of open spina bifida (OSB) relied on the meticulous scanning of the fetal vertebrae for abnormalities but many defects were missed. After the mid-1980s, however, with the description of the intracranial findings in the second trimester (the “lemon sign” and the “banana sign”), the prenatal diagnosis of OSB was enhanced. In the last 2 decades, there has been widespread uptake of routine ultrasound examination in the first trimester of pregnancy with the purpose of the measurement of fetal crown-rump length to determine gestational age, to screen for trisomy 21 and other aneuploidies, mainly with the nuchal translucency, and for diagnosis of many major abnormalities. Many papers were published focusing on early diagnosis of myelomeningocele (MMC), and the objective of this review is to summarize the different techniques described regarding prenatal diagnosis of OSB in the first trimester of pregnancy.

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Correspondence to César Meller.

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Meller, C., Aiello, H. & Otaño, L. Sonographic detection of open spina bifida in the first trimester: review of the literature. Childs Nerv Syst 33, 1101–1106 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00381-017-3443-9

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Keywords

  • Open spina bifida
  • First trimester
  • Early prenatal diagnosis
  • Ultrasound
  • Intracranial translucency