OBJECTIVE: This systematic comparison between pre- and postnatal imaging findings and postnatal motor outcome assesses the reliability of MRI accuracy in the prognostication of the future long-term (mean, 11.4 years) ambulatory status in a historic group of postnatally repaired myelomeningocele (MMC) cases.
METHODS: A retrospective, single-center study of 34 postnatally repaired MMC patients was performed. We used fetal and postnatal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to compare the fetal and postnatal radiological lesion level to each other and to the postnatal ambulatory level as a standard of reference and analyzed Chiari II malformation characteristics.
RESULTS: In 13/15 (87%) and 29/31 (94%) cases, the functional level was equal to or better than the prenatal and postnatal radiological lesion level. A radiological lesion level agreement within two segments could be achieved in 13/15 (87%) patients. A worse than expected functional level occurred in cases with Myelocele (2/3 patients), coexistent crowding of the posterior fossa (2/3 patients) and/or abnormal white matter architecture, represented by callosal dysgenesis (1/3 patients). In all patients (2/2) with a radiological disagreement of more than two segments, segmentation disorders and scoliosis were observed.
CONCLUSION: Fetal and postnatal MRI are predictive of the long-term ambulatory status in postnatally repaired MMC patients.
- Follow-Up Studies
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging/methods
- Nervous System Diseases/epidemiology
- Reproducibility of Results
- Retrospective Studies
- Risk Assessment/methods