Muscle ultrasound density in human fetuses with spina bifida aperta

R. J. Verbeek, J. H. van der Hoeven, K. M. Sollie, N. M. Maurits, A. F. Bos, W. F. A. den Dunnen, O. F. Brouwer, Deborah Sival

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

12 Citaten (Scopus)


Background: In fetal spina bifida aperta (SBA), leg movements caudal to the meningomyelocele (MMC) are transiently present, but they disappear shortly after birth. Insight in the underlying mechanism could help to improve treatment strategies. In fetal SBA, the pathogenesis of neuromuscular damage prior to movement loss is still unknown. We reasoned that prenatal assessment of muscle ultrasound density (fetal-MUD) could help to reveal whether progressive neuromuscular damage is present in fetal SBA, or not.

Aim: To reveal whether prenatal neuromuscular damage is progressively present in SBA.

Patients/methods: In SBA fetuses (n = 6; 22-37 weeks gestational age), we assessed fetal-MUD in myotomes caudal to the MMC and compared measurements between myotomes cranial to the MMC and controls (n = 11; 17-36 weeks gestational age). Furthermore, we intra-individually compared MUD and muscle histology between the pre- and postnatal period.

Results: Despite persistently present fetal leg movements caudal to the MMC, fetal-MUD was higher caudal to the MMC than in controls (p

Conclusions: In fetal SBA, persistent leg movements concur with stable, non-progressively increased fetal-MUD. These data may implicate that early postnatal loss of leg movements is associated with the impact of additional neuromuscular damage after the prenatal period. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)519-523
Aantal pagina's5
TijdschriftEarly Human Development
Nummer van het tijdschrift8
StatusPublished - aug-2009

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