Neural Tube defects

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This is a picture of a large meningomyelocele.

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This is a fetus from a termination of pregnancy via dilation and extraction, which is done in the second trimester. Note the large neural tube defect in the lower back.

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This is anencephaly. This condition occurs when there is failure of formation of the fetal cranial vault. The brain cannot form when exposed to amniotic fluid. Note that this fetus died in utero--there are signs of maceration with skin slippage and reddening.

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Note the absence of the cranial vault in this fetus with anencephaly.

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The eyes appear proptotic with anencephaly because of the lack of the skull. Note the low set external ear.

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This is a slight variation of a neural tube defect known as iniencephaly in which there is lack of proper formation of occipital bones with a short neck and defect of the upper cord. The head is tilted back.

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A severe rachischisis is shown here in a fetus that also has iniencephaly.

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Seen protruding from the back of the head is a large encephalocele that merges with the scalp above. The encephalocele extends down to partially cover a rachischisis on the back. This fetus also has a retroflexed head from iniencephaly

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This form of neural tube defect is known as exencephaly. The cranial vault is not completely present, but a brain is present, because it was not completely exposed to amniotic fluid. Such an event is very rare. It may be part of craniofacial clefts with limb-body wall complex.

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