Preschool neurodevelopmental outcome of children following fetal myelomeningocele closure

Enrico Danzer, Marsha Gerdes, Michael W. Bebbington, Deborah M. Zarnow, N. Scott Adzick, Mark P. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Objective: We sought to investigate the preschool neurodevelopmental outcomes of children following fetal myelomeningocele (fMMC) surgery. Study Design: Prior to the Management of Myelomeningocele Study trial, 54 children underwent fMMC closure at our institution. Thirty (56%) returned at 5 years of age for standardized neurocognitive examination. Scores were grouped as high-average, average, mildly delayed, and severely delayed by SD intervals. Results: Mean verbal intelligence quotient (VIQ), performance intelligence quotient (PIQ), and full intelligence quotient (FIQ) scores were within normal population range. High-average or average scores for VIQ, PIQ, FIQ, and processing speed were found in 93%, 90%, 90%, and 60%, respectively. Mean FIQ and processing speed of nonshunted children were significantly higher than for those who required shunt placement (P = .02 and P = .01, respectively). Mean VIQ and PIQ tended to be higher in nonshunted fMMC children (P = .05). Conclusion: The majority of fMMC children in this highly selective population had average preschool neurodevelopmental scores. fMMC children who did not require shunt placement were more likely to have better scores.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)450.e1-450.e9
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2010


  • fetal surgery
  • hindbrain herniation
  • myelomeningocele
  • neurodevelopmental outcome
  • spina bifida
  • ventriculomegaly


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