The changing incidence of myelomeningocele and its impact on pediatric neurosurgery: a review from the Children's Memorial Hospital.
ABSTRACT INCIDENCE: Worldwide, the incidence of neural tube defects (NTDs) varies from 0.17 to 6.39 per 1,000 live births. The declining prevalence of myelomeningocele, the most common NTD, is secondary to several factors including folic acid fortification, prenatal diagnosis with termination of affected fetuses, and unknown factors. IMPACT OF CHANGES: Of those born with myelomeningocele, survival during infancy and preschool years has improved over the last 25 years (Bowman et al., Pediatr Neurosurg 34:114-120). Fewer newborns today require shunt placement, which will hopefully improve the long-term mortality associated with this disease (Chakraborty et al., J Neurosurg Pediatr 1(5):361-365, unpublished data). Of a cohort born in 1975-1979 and treated at a single US institution, 74% have survived into young adulthood. CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: One of the greatest challenges facing these young adults is the transitioning of their medical care into an adult medical community.
Article: Impact of tethered cord release on symptoms of Chiari II malformation in children born with a myelomeningocele.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The role of distal traction in the form of a tethered spinal cord in exacerbating anatomical findings or symptoms of Chiari II malformation (CIIM) has been debated for decades. Despite the association of Chiari II malformation with myelomeningocele, the impact of tethered cord release on CIIM symptoms in patients has not been explored. A retrospective review of 59 patients born with a myelomeningocele was performed. A total of 92 untethering procedures were performed in which symptoms of CIIM were present in 29 cases. In 57 out of 92 cases, the patients did not have symptoms of CIIM prior to untethering. Six cases were excluded because cervicomedullary decompression was performed prior to untethering. The response of CIIM symptoms, syrinx size, and cerebellar tonsil position were examined before and after spinal cord untethering. Forty-four characteristic signs and symptoms of CIIM were present prior to 29 untetherings. Thirty-three of 44 (75%) symptoms improved following spinal cord untethering, though no symptom resolved completely. Syrinx size and cerebellar tonsil position were unchanged following untethering. The authors conclude that mild to moderate symptoms of CIIM may respond positively to spinal cord untethering, potentially by normalization cerebrospinal fluid flow dynamics. Symptom improvement occurs despite the lack of radiographic evidence of CIIM resolution.Child s Nervous System 10/2010; 27(6):975-8. · 1.54 Impact Factor