Neurosurgical management of spina bifida: research issues

Bowman, R. M.; McLone, D. G.

Dev Disabil Res Rev. 2010 Apr 27; 16(1):82-7

Abstract

The neurosurgical goal when treating children with spina bifida (predominantly myelomeningocele) is to maintain stable neurological functioning throughout the patient's life time. Unfortunately, few long-term outcome studies are available to help direct the neurosurgical care of a child born with myelomeningocele and often treatment relies more heavily upon the experience of senior practitioners. This article reviews the current literature regarding neurosurgical treatment strategies, with recommendations concerning including prenatal diagnosis, in utero treatment and delivery modes, and postnatal management. Given the overall declining prevalence of open neural tube defects world-wide, research collaboration amongst practitioners through multicenter trial are essential to improving the lives of people born with this most complex congenital anomaly.

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