Doctor insights on:
Ultrasound Shows Anencephaly
Absent brain: Most of the major organs have formed by 8-12 weeks so it may be possible to detect some defect at this early age. Certainly with the blood tests for neural tube defects, the fetus is large enough by 18-20 weeks to tell for sure, which is when most fetal anatomy us take place. ...Read more
An ultraound, also known as a sonogram, is a painless and relatively inexpensive imaging test that utilizes sound waves instead of ionizing radiation. There are no side effects. Ultrasound can give us two-dimensional, and in some applications three-dimensional, images of structures and organs in virtually any part of the body. In addition to diagnostic uses, such as evaluating abnormalities in the abdomen, pelvis, and breast, ultrasounds are commonly used to guide needle and catheter placement in a variety of surgical ...Read more
3 weeks after con-: Ception, an embryo's neural plate develops a midline groove; its edges over-fold & close to form a neural tube. Anencephaly is the most severe of the Neural Tube Defects caused by interaction of one of several genes with environmental factors. Low maternal folate (folic acid) level at conception is a main cause; MTHFR, a main gene iinvolved. Fertile women who take daily Folic Acid have lower risk of NTD's. ...Read more
No: By definition, the infant with anencephaly went through the stages of fetal development without major brain parts. The primitive tissues of forebrain development come together to form a brain, or not, well before a month into fetal life. It cannot start over. Anencephaly patients can live a day or two under some circumstances but most pass shortly after birth if not prior to delivery. ...Read more
Don't know: I do not know. I have not heard that. I would suggest though that hair perms contain chemicals that can leach in to the body through the scalp and are in general not beneficial especially if pregnant or trying to get pregnant. Avoid them. Anencephaly has multiple causes and at best chemicals may contribute...Have seen no evidence yet they are causal. ...Read more
The position: The developing brain and spinal cord go through a predictable pattern. The primitive neural tissue folds on itself to begin forming the spinal elements. It actually closes the fold starting in the middle and progresses toward the top and bottom. Like closing a zipper from the middle out. If the fold doesn't close at the tom, anencephaly develops. If it doesn't close at the bottom. Spina bifida. ...Read more
I get little sweaty at night sometimes & im 8wks preg with Hx of anencephaly bubs. Worried my body temp increase may cause damage to baby? Winter here
Body temperature: Small fluctuations in body temperature are a normal part of physiology and are not a known cause of fetal abnormalities. ...Read more
I lost a daughter to anencephaly 5 months ago. I would love to get pregnant again, but I am very scared? .Is there anyway anencephaly can happen again
Yes, but: Your original risk was that of the general population that runs 1/1000 live births, but your recurrence risk climbs to 4%. There are various nutritional & genetic factors that go into your overall risk of some unexpected outcome with pregnancy & a visit to a geneticist affiliated with a med school or children's hospital may be your best information source. Take time to grieve but don't give up. ...Read more
How early can anencephaly be detected? Had 8wk scan & dr said the head looked gd but couldn't confirm until 12wks as she couldn't see skull? Hx of anen
Comfort care only!:
Nobody can nor should help prolong the "lives" of these poor neonates. Anencephalic newborns are devoid of any chance of meaningful interaction with the environment and never attain consciousness. Comfort care is all that is ethically permissible for these dramatic cases.
Take 4-5 mg daily of Folic Acid daily throughout your reproductive life, to prevent this from recurring in future pregnancies. ...Read more
Failure of closure: The fetus is busy around 20-30 days in when the nervous system starts forming along a line like a trench. The trench folds in on itself and begins to form a tube, sealing itself in the middle first and moving toward both ends like two zippers. When the top end fails to close, many brain structures don't form & we have anencephaly.At the bottom, we get spina bifida. ...Read more
Up to parents: This is always fatal within hours or days. The management choices depend on the parents. Some accept early termination after confirmation. Some choose to deliver and spend time with the baby, avoiding attempts to prolong the act of dying. If they choose to deliver, I encourage the parents to see and hold the baby, and have a chance to say goodbye. This has been shown to speed emotional recovery ...Read more
Loose link: All of the neural tube defects from anencephaly down down the back to spina bifida are all loosely linked through numerous genes. Recurrence risk after a first affected child is minimal, quoted as 1.9%, but would encompass any of the related defects. Most are considered single chance events, and pre-pregnancy supplement of Folic Acid has reduced the frequency. ...Read more
Hi I had my first child with anencephaly. What preventive measures need to be taken for the next baby?
37wks+2days pregnant. Feelin scared & anxious of losin this healthy baby in this last bit. Lost 2 bubs to anencephaly in past. Wat can I do? Jus want safe
Natural feelinngs: With your past experience it is easy for you to remain an emotional mess, even after a normal delivery and healthy initial exam. Surround yourself with supportive people who are willing to listen. By the time this baby is five you may relax. Just hang in there. ...Read more
Lost 2 bubs to anencephaly. Now preg with healthy 3rd baby no NTD's.Have had vag bleedin this preg all told"unexplained".Any tips to gt thru last 8wks?
Bedrest: You should take it easy. Not too much activity. Frequent doctor visits and close monitoring. May be best to avoid sexual activity during the final weeks. Babys born 8 weeks early typically do very well these days. ...Read more
Genetic influence: Anencephaly is one of the many forms of neural tube defects that can occur. The factors are likely present on several chromosomes, making it a polygenic rather than single gene in origin. Recurrence risk of any form of ntd to a previously affected couple is a few percent. ...Read more
Measles in pregnancy: If a pregnant woman has measles it depends on the trimester what effects it will have on the fetus. It can cause brain anomalies as well. You OB should be the one counselling you on this, and the ultra sound of the fetus tells a lot about such problems. Talk to your ob. ...Read more
Sporadic malformatn: The fetal nervous system first forms as a groove that folds in on itself and begins to close from the middle outward to the top & bottom. If the bottom doesn't close, spina bifida develops. If the top doesn't, anencephaly occurs. Recurrence risk to any affected mom ~1-2% makes this non-genetic. There is some evidence that taking Folic Acid before pregnancy & up to 3m can help prevent it. ...Read more
See below: They have a brain stem, which will control breathing and heart rate. ...Read more
Primitive Reflexes: Such babies have brain stems, but lack the higher cortex. Without the brain stem they wouldn't breath and their hearts wouldn't beat. The brain stem accounts for primitive reflexes, which I have seen people mistake for a conscious response. ...Read more
Lost baby in 16 week with termination due to anencephaly. Biopsy report has notes "anencephaly, hypo plastic maxilla. What does that mean?
Findings expected in: anencephaly. We now believe that the cranium does not close, leaving the brain exposed. By 11 to 12 weeks, extension of the legs is sufficient to bash the normal brain against the uterine wall, destroying most of it by 13 to 14 weeks. The markedly reduced brain volume causes deformation of craniofacial structures. Had the cranium closed, your fetus would've had a normal face. ...Read more
26 wks pregnant. Lost 2 babies to anencephaly previously. This bubs ok so far. Extremely scared of losing this healthy baby. Will my bub make it?
Imaging?: So sorry about your loss! That is just devastating! Have you had an ultrasound with this baby? The anatomy of anencephaly is easy to diagnose on ultrasound. However, there are smaller more subtle neural tube defects which could be missed. Ask your ob about the details of ultrasound. Get ultrasound ASAP if have not had one yet! Good luck! ...Read more