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Spina Bifida Diagnosis

Amniocentesis is an exam in which the doctor removes samples of fluid from the amniotic sac that surrounds the fetus. This procedure may also be used to diagnose spina bifida. Although amniocentesis cannot reveal the severity of spina bifida, high levels of AFP may indicate that the condition is present.

Postnatal Spina Bifida Diagnosis

Mild cases of spina bifida that are not diagnosed during prenatal testing may be detected after birth by an x-ray during a routine examination. Doctors may use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or a computed tomography (CT) scan to get a better view of the spine and vertebrae. Individuals with the more severe types of spina bifida will often have muscle weakness in their feet, hips, and legs. If doctors suspect that a person has hydrocephalus, doctors may request a CT scan or an x-ray of the skull to look for extra fluid inside the brain.
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Spina Bifida Information

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