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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: October 2019

Chapter 43 - Neural Tube Anomalies: An Update on the Pathophysiology and Prevention

from Surgical Correction of Neural Tube Anomalies


Anomalies of the neural tube are a group of severe birth defects involving the central nervous system, with a global prevalence rate of approximately 1 in 1000 births [1]. The birth prevalence varies substantially between geographical locations, socioeconomic status and ethnic groups because of genetic and environmental differences, including maternal conditions, medication, toxins, nutrition, and lifestyle. Worldwide, each year approximately 130 000 newborns are born with a neural tube defect (NTD). The clinical spectrum of neural tube defects includes spina bifida, anencephaly, encephalocele, and although rare, craniorachischisis and iniencephaly. Spina bifida accounts for 57% of all NTDs, anencephaly 33%, and encephalocele 10%.