Reduced Hindbrain Herniation after Intrauterine Myelomeningocele Repair: A Report of Four Cases

Tulipan, Noel; Hernanz-Schulman, Marta; Bruner, Joseph P.
November 1998
Pediatric Neurosurgery;Nov98, Vol. 29 Issue 5, p274
Academic Journal
Background: It has been theorized that fetal myelomeningocele repair may reduce ongoing intrauterine injury and perhaps allow healing and regeneration of dysplastic neural tissue. We report on the postnatal imaging studies of the first 4 patients to have undergone intrauterine myelomeningocele repair at our institution. Methods: Each of the 4 patients underwent postnatal sonographic and MRI. In addition, the postnatal ultrasounds of these 4 were compared to a group of retrospective controls. Results: MRI scans of the 4 experimental subjects revealed no evidence of hindbrain herniation while other stigmata of the Chiari-II malformation persisted. In comparison to the retrospective controls this absence of herniation was distinctly unusual. Conclusion: Intrauterine myelomeningocele repair may reduce the degree of hindbrain herniation normally seen in patients with myelomeningocele. This raises the possibility that intrauterine repair may decrease the morbidity associated with the Chiari type-II malformation including brainstem dysfunction, hydrocephalus and syringomyelia.


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