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Children's Hospital of Philadelphia reports on 100 recent fetal surgeries for spina bifida
Date:8/26/2014

Philadelphia, Aug. 25, 2014 Reporting on 100 recent cases of fetal surgery for spina bifida, specialists at a premier fetal surgery program achieved results similar to those published three years previously in a landmark clinical trial that established a new standard of care for prenatal repair of this birth defect.

Specialists from the Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) published their findings online August 15 in Fetal Diagnosis and Therapy. The single-center results comprised the largest series reported since 2011 when the National Institutes of Health-sponsored Management of Myelomeningocele Study (MOMS) published its results in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).

"The MOMS trial presented very encouraging results and helped experts develop guidelines for optimal care, but there were questions about whether the benefits of this procedure could be reproduced outside the setting of a rigorous trial," said Julie S. Moldenhauer, M.D., a Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist at CHOP and lead author of the current paper. "This study shows that an experienced program can achieve comparable results, and that we can modify our techniques to improve on the trial outcomes."

Spina bifida is the most common birth defect of the central nervous system, affecting about 1,500 babies born each year in the United States. The most severe form of spina bifida is myelomeningocele, in which part of the spinal column fails to close around the spinal cord, leaving it vulnerable to devastating neurological injuries during fetal development. Lifelong disabilities may result, such as paralysis, bladder problems and cognitive deficits.

The MOMS trial had shown that fetal surgery led to decreased rates of shunting (implanted tubing to drain excess fluid from the brain) at 12 months of age. Fetal surgery also reversed a life-threatening condition called Arnold Chiari 2 malformation (h
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Contact: Ashley Moore
moorea1@email.chop.edu
267-426-6071
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Source:Eurekalert

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