Author(s): Kar A, Kar T, Kanungo S, Guru L, Rath J,
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Abstract INTRODUCTION: Neural tube defects (NTD) are a group of serious birth defects occurring due to defective closure of neural tube during embryonic development. It comprises of anencephaly, encephalocele and spina bifida. We conducted this prospective fetal autopsy series to study the rate and distribution of NTD, analyze the reproductive factors and risk factors, note any associated anomalies and evaluate the organ weights and their deviation from normal. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This was a prospective study done over a period of 6 years from August, 2007 to July, 2013. All cases of NTDs delivered as abortion, still born and live born were included. The reproductive and risk factors like age, parity, multiple births, previous miscarriage, obesity, diabetes mellitus, socioeconomic status and use of folic acid during pregnancy were collected.Autopsy was performed according to Virchow's technique. Detail external and internal examination were carried out to detect any associated anomalies. Gross and microscopic examination of organs were done. RESULTS: Out of 210 cases of fetal and perinatal autopsy done, 72 (34.28\%) had NTD constituting 49 cases of anencephaly, 16 spina bifida and 7 cases of encephalocele. The mothers in these cases predominantly were within 25-29 years (P = 0.02) and primy (P = 0.01). Female sex was more commonly affected than males (M:F = 25:47, P = 0.0005) There was no history of folate use in majority of cases. Organ weight deviations were >2 standard deviation low in most of the cases. Most common associated anomalies were adrenal hypoplasia and thymic hyperplasia. CONCLUSION: The authors have made an attempt to study NTD cases in respect to maternal reproductive and risk factors and their association with NTD along with the organ weight deviation and associated anomalies. This so far in our knowledge is an innovative study which was not found in literature even after extensive search.
This article was published in Indian J Pathol Microbiol
and referenced in Journal of Medical & Surgical Pathology