Fetal Surgery for Spina Bifida | The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment

Fetal Surgery for Spina Bifida Publications

Staff of the Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment have written extensively about fetal surgery for spina bifida. These articles in peer-reviewed publications show the long legacy of CHOP research into fetal surgery for spina bifida. They are grouped by topic.

What's new? Recent reports on fetal surgery for spina bifida

Jackson EM, Schwartz DM, Sestokas AK, Zarnow DM, Adzick NS, Johnson MP, Heuer GG, Sutton LN. Intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring in patients undergoing tethered cord surgery after fetal myelomeningocele repair. J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2014 Apr;13(4):355-61. doi: 10.3171/2014.1.PEDS11336. Epub 2014 Feb 7. Read the abstract.

Adzick NS. Fetal surgery for spina bifida: past, present, future. Semin Pediatr Surg. 2013 Feb;22(1):10-7. doi: 10.1053/j.sempedsurg.2012.10.003. Cited in PubMed; PMID 23395140. Read the abstract

Adzick NS. Fetal surgery for myelomeningocele: trials and tribulations. J Pediatr Surg. 2012 Feb;47(2):273-81. Cited in PubMed; PMID 22325376. Read the abstract

Danzer E, Johnson MP, Adzick NS. Fetal surgery for myelomeningocele: progress and perspectives. Dev Med Child Neurol. 2012 Jan;54(1):8-14. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8749.2011.04049.x. Epub 2011 Jul 11. Review. Cited in PubMed; PMID 21745203. Read the abstract

Bebbington MW, Danzer E, Johnson MP, Adzick NS. Open fetal surgery for myelomeningocele. Prenat Diagn. 2011 Jul;31(7):689-94. doi: 10.1002/pd.2805. Epub 2011 Jun 8. Cited in PubMed; PMID 21656790. Read the abstract

Danzer E, Gerdes M, Bebbington MW, Koh J, Adzick SN, Johnson MP. Fetal myelomeningocele surgery: preschool functional status using the Functional Independence Measure for children (WeeFIM). Childs Nerv Syst. 2011 Jul;27(7):1083-8. Epub 2011 Feb 16. Cited in PubMed; PMID:21327591. Read the abstract 

Grant RA, Heuer GG, Carrión GM, Adzick NS, Schwartz ES, Stein SC, et al. Morphometric analysis of posterior fossa after in utero myelomeningocele repair. J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2011 Apr;7(4):362-8. Cited in PubMed; PMID 21456906. Read the abstract

Danzer E, Adzick NS. Fetal surgery for myelomeningocele: Patient selection, perioperative management and outcomes. Fetal Diagn Ther. 2011;30(3):163-73. Cited in PubMed; PMID 21849764. Read the abstract

Danzer E, Gerdes M, Bebbington MW, Koh J, Adzick NS, Johnson MP. Preschool neurobehavioral outcome following fetal myelomeningocele surgery. Fetal Diagn Ther. 2011;30(3):174-9. Epub 2011 Sep 8. Cited in PubMed; PMID 21912086. Read the abstract

Establishing fetal surgery for spina bifida as a standard of care

This study in the New England of Journal of Medicine outlines the results of the MOMS (Management of Myelomeningocele) Study and establishes fetal surgery for spina bifida as a new standard of care.

Experimental support: “two-hit” hypothesis

This article provides the most important experimental “proof of principle” contribution for the “two-hit hypothesis:”

Further support of the “two-hit hypothesis” was shown in human fetuses:

This work confirmed the pathophysiology of hindbrain herniation:

Key spina bifida reviews

Adzick NS. Fetal myelomeningocele: Natural history, pathophysiology, and in-utero intervention. Semin Fetal Neonatal Med. 2010 Feb;15(1):9-14. Epub 2009 Jun 18. Cited in PubMed; PMID 19540177. Read the abstract

Mitchell LE, Adzick SN, Melchionne J, Pasquariello PS, Sutton LN, Whitehead AS. Spina bifida. Lancet. 2004 Nov 20-26;364(9448):1885-95. Cited in PubMed; PMID 15555669. Read the abstract

Initial case reports describing successful early gestation fetal myelomeningocele repair

Sutton LN, Adzick NS, Bilaniuk LT, Johnson MP, Crombleholme TM, Flake AW. Improvement in hindbrain herniation demonstrated by serial fetal magnetic resonance imaging following fetal surgery for myelomeningocele. JAMA. 1999 Nov 17;282(19):1826-31. Cited in PubMed; PMID 10573273. Read the article

Adzick NS, Sutton LN, Crombleholme TM, Flake AW. Successful fetal surgery for spina bifida. Lancet. 1998 Nov 21;352(9141):1675-6. See the case study »

Establishing the baseline shunt percentages for children with standard post-natal myelomeningocele repair

This baseline data for children with myelomeningocele (MMC) treated after birth and followed in the CHOP Spina Bifida Clinic was used for the postnatal repair group in the statistical formulation of the MOMS Trial.

Clinical outcomes for pre-MOMS fetal surgery myelomeningocele patients from CHOP

Danzer E, Finkel R, Gerdes M, Schwartz EM, Rintoul NN, Adzick NS, et al. The relationship of seizure activity and chronic epilepsy in early infancy and short-term neurodevelopmental outcome following fetal myelomeningocele closure.Neuropediatrics. 2010 Jun;41(3):140-3. Epub 2010 Sep 21. Cited in PubMed; PMID 20859834. Read the abstract

Danzer E, Gerdes M, Bebbington MW, Zarnow DN, Adzick NS, Johnson MP. Preschool neurodevelopmental outcome of children following fetal myelomeningocele closure. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2010 May;202(5):450.e1-9. Epub 2010 Mar 29. Cited in PubMed; PMID 20347433. Read the abstract

Danzer E, Ernst LM, Rintoul NE, Johnson MP, Adzick NS, Flake AW. In utero meconium passage in fetuses and newborns with myelomeningocele. J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2009 Feb;3(2):141-6. Cited in PubMed; PMID 19278315. Read the abstract

Danzer E, Gerdes M, Bebbington MW, Sutton LN, Melchionni J, Adzick NS, et al. Lower extremity neuromotor function and short-term ambulatory potential following in utero myelomeningocele surgery.Fetal Diagn Ther. 2009;25(1):47-53. Epub 2009 Jan 28. Cited in PubMed; PMID 19174610. Read the abstract

Danzer E, Finkel RS, Rintoul NE, Bebbington MW, Schwartz ES, Zarnow DM, et al. Reversal of hindbrain herniation after maternal-fetal surgery for myelomeningocele subsequently impacts on brain stem function. Neuropediatrics. 2008 Dec;39(6):359-62. Epub 2009 Jun 30. Cited in PubMed; PMID 19569004. Read the abstract

Danzer E, Adzick NS, Rintoul NE, Zarnow DM, Schwartz ES, Melchionni J, et al. Intradural inclusion cysts following in utero closure of myelomeningocele: clinical implications and follow-up findings. J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2008 Dec;2(6):406-13. Cited in PubMed; PMID 19035686. Read the abstract

Carr MC. Fetal myelomeningocele repair: urologic aspects. Curr Opin Urol.2007 Jul;17(4):257-62. Cited in PubMed; PMID 17558269. Read the abstract

Danzer E, Johnson MP, Bebbington M, Simon EM, Wilson RD, Bilaniuk LT. Fetal head biometry assessed by fetal magnetic resonance imaging following in utero myelomeningocele repair. Fetal Diagn Ther. 2007;22(1):1-6. Epub 2006 Sep 21. Cited in PubMed; PMID 17003546. Read the abstract

Johnson MP, Gerdes M, Rintoul N, Pasquariello P, Melchionni J, Sutton LN, et al. Maternal-fetal surgery for myelomeningocele: Neurodevelopmental outcomes at 2 years of age. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2006 Apr;194(4):1145-50; discussion 1150-2. Cited in PubMed; PMID 16580316. Read the abstract

Danzer E, Johnson MP, Wilson RD, Flake AW, Hedrick HL, Sutton LN, et al. Fetal head biometry following in-utero repair of myelomeningocele. Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol. 2004 Nov;24(6):606-11. Cited in PubMed; PMID 15517548. Read the abstract

Johnson MP, Sutton LN, Rintoul N, Crombleholme TM, Flake AW, Howell LJ, et al. Fetal myelomeningocele repair: short-term clinical outcomes. Am J Obstet Gynecol.2003 Aug;189(2):482-7. Cited in PubMed; PMID 14520222. Read the abstract

Tulipan N, Sutton LN, Bruner JP, Cohen BM, Johnson M, Adzick NS. The effect of intrauterine myelomeningocele repair on the incidence of shunt-dependent hydrocephalus. Pediatr Neurosurg.2003 Jan;38(1):27-33. Cited in PubMed; PMID 12476024. Read the abstract

Important maternal follow-up after fetal surgery at CHOP

Wilson RD, Lemerand K, Johnson MP, Flake AW, Bebbington M, Hedrick HL, et al. Reproductive outcomes in subsequent pregnancies after a pregnancy complicated by open maternal-fetal surgery (1996-2007). Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2010 Sep;203(3):209.e1-6. Cited in PubMed; PMID 20537307. Read the abstract

Wilson RD, Johnson MP, Flake AW, Crombleholme TM, Hedrick HL, Wilson J, et al. Reproductive outcomes after pregnancy complicated by maternal-fetal surgery. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2004 Oct;191(4):1430-6. Cited in PubMed; PMID 15507978. Read the abstract

Wilson RD, Johnson MP, Crombleholme TM, Flake AW, Hedrick HL, King M, et al. Chorioamniotic membrane separation following open fetal surgery: pregnancy outcome. Fetal Diagn Ther. 2003 Sep-Oct;18(5):314-20. Cited in PubMed; PMID 12913340. Read the abstract

Advancing fetal surgery: Establishing intraoperative fetal echocardiographic monitoring as a standard of care

Rychik J, Tian Z, Cohen MS, Ewing SG, Cohen D, Howell LJ, et al. Acute cardiovascular effects of fetal surgery in the human. Circulation. 2004 Sep 21;110(12):1549-56. Epub 2004 Sep 7. Read the article

Laboratory research for fetal myelomeningocele: Past, present and future

Danzer E, Johnson MP, Adzick NS. Fetal surgery for myelomeningocele: progress and perspectives. Dev Med Child Neurol. 2012 Jan;54(1):8-14. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8749.2011.04049.x. Epub 2011 Jul 11. Review. Cited in PubMed; PMID 21745203. Read the abstract

Watanabe M, Li H, Roybal JL, Santore MT, Radu A, Jo JI, et al. A tissue engineering approach for prenatal closure of myelomeningocele: Comparison of gelatin sponge and microsphere scaffolds and bioactive protein coatings. Tissue Eng Part A. 2011 Jan. 31. Cited in PubMed; PMID 21128864. Read the abstract

Bebbington MW, Danzer E, Johnson MP, Adzick NS. Open fetal surgery for myelomeningocele. Prenat Diagn. 2011 Jul;31(7):689-94. doi: 10.1002/pd.2805. Epub 2011 Jun 8. Review. Cited in PubMed; PMID 21656790. Read the abstract

Danzer E, Adzick NS. Fetal surgery for myelomeningocele: patient selection, perioperative management and outcomes. Fetal Diagn Ther. 2011;30(3):163-73. Cited in PubMed; PMID 21849764. Read the abstract

Danzer E, Gerdes M, Bebbington MW, Koh J, Adzick NS, Johnson MP. Preschool neurobehavioral outcome following fetal myelomeningocele surgery. Fetal Diagn Ther. 2011;30(3):174-9. Epub 2011 Sep 8. Cited in PubMed; PMID 21912086. Read the article

Danzer E, Adzick NS. Fetal surgery for myelomeningocele: Patient selection, perioperative management and outcomes. Fetal Diagn Ther. 2011, Aug 18. Cited in PubMed; PMID 21849764. Read the abstract

Grant RA, Heuer GG, Carrión GM, Adzick NS, Schwartz ES, Stein SC, et al. Morphometric analysis of posterior fossa after in utero myelomeningocele repair. J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2011 Apr;7(4):362-8. Cited in PubMed; PMID 21456906. Read the abstract

Danzer E, Zhang L, Radu A, Bebbington MW, Liechty KW, Adzick NS, et al. Amniotic fluid levels of glial fibrillary acidic protein in fetal rats with retinoic acid induced myelomeningocele: A potential marker for spinal cord injury. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2011 Feb;204(2):178.e1-178.e11. Cited in PubMed; PMID 21284970. Read the abstract

Watanabe M, Jo J, Radu A, Kaneko M, Tabata Y, Flake AW. A tissue engineering approach for prenatal closure of myelomeningocele with gelatin sponges incorporating basic fibroblast growth factor. Tissue Eng Part A. 2010 May;16(5):1645-55. Cited in PubMed; PMID 19954327. Read the abstract

Danzer E, Radu A, Robinson LD, Volpe MV, Adzick NS, Flake AW. Morphologic analysis of the neuromuscular development of the anorectal unit in fetal rats with retinoic acid induced myelomeningocele. Neurosci Lett. 2008 Jan 10;430(2):157-62. Epub 2007 Nov 17. Cited in PubMed; PMID 18063303. Read the abstract

Danzer E, Kiddoo DA, Redden RA, Robinson L, Radu A, Zderic SA, et al. Structural and functional characterization of bladder smooth muscle in fetal rats with retinoic acid-induced myelomeningocele. Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2007 Jan;292(1):F197-206. Epub 2006 Aug 29. Cited in PubMed; PMID 16940565. Read the article

Danzer E, Schwarz U, Wehrli S, Radu A, Adzick NS, Flake AW. Retinoic acid induced myelomeningocele in fetal rats: Characterization by histopathological analysis and magnetic resonance imaging. Exp Neurol. 2005 Aug;194(2):467-75. Cited in PubMed; PMID 15893307. Read the abstract

Yingling CD, Meuli-Simmen C, Meuli M, Timmel GB, Harrison M, Adzick NS. Experimental fetal neurosurgery: effects of in-utero manipulations on somatosensory evoked potentials. Pediatr Surg Int. 1999;15(8):535-9. Cited in PubMed; PMID 10631727. Read the abstract

Yingling CD, Meuli-Simmen C, Meuli M, Timmel GB, Adzick NS, Harrison M. Assessment of sensory function in neonatal sheep with somatosensory evoked potentials: methodology and normative data. Pediatr Surg Int. 1999;15(8):530-4. Cited in PubMed; PMID 10631726. Read the abstract

Meuli M, Meuli-Simmen C, Yingling CD, Hutchins GM, Timmel GB, Harrison MR, et al. In utero repair of experimental myelomeningocele saves neurological function at birth.  J Pediatr Surg. 1996 Mar;31(3):397-402. Cited in PubMed; PMID 8708911. Read the abstract

Meuli M, Meuli-Simmen D, Yingling CD, Hutchins GM, Hoffman KM, Harrison MR, et al. Creation of myelomeningocele in utero: A model of functional damage from spinal cord exposure in fetal sheep. J Pediatr Surg. 1995 Jul;30(7):1028-32; discussion 1032-3. Cited in PubMed; PMID 7472926. Read the abstract

Meuli-Simmen C, Meuli M, Hutchins GM, Harrison MR, Buncke HJ, Sullivan KM, et al. Fetal reconstructive surgery: experimental use of the latissimus dorsi flap to correct myelomeningocele in utero. Plast Reconstr Surg. 1995 Oct;96(5):1007-11. Cited in PubMed; PMID 7568473. Read the abstract

Updated March 2013

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