Ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging in the prenatal diagnosis of open spina bifida

Romeo Micu, Anca Lucia Chicea, Dan Georgian Bratu, Paula Nita, Georgiana Nemeti, Radu Chicea


Open spina bifida, also known as spina bifida aperta is a neural tube defect involving the lack of closure of vertebral arches and associated meninges and/or spinal cord abnormalities.Ultrasound examination is the gold standard for the diagnosis of spina bifida aperta. It represents the main imaging tool used to ascertain this diagnosis early in gestation. Three-dimensional ultrasound is necessary to detect the level and the size of the defect. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) represents a more sensitive tool, giving specific information of the defect and associated anomalies, playing an important role in ruling out differential diagnosis. Due to the advent of MRI use, it is possible today to achieve in utero treatment of fetuses with this pathology. The aim of the current review is to provide an update of literature regarding the role of ultrasound and MRI in the prenatal diagnosis of spina bifida aperta.


spina bifida; magnetic resonance imaging; Chiari II; ultrasound; prenatal diagnosis

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.11152/mu-1325


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