This video shows Anencephaly with a pregnancy of about 23 weeks.
Anencephaly is a lethal congenital anomaly that can be detected on ultrasound as early as 11 weeks of gestation. If some amount of neural tissue is present, the condition is termed exencephaly. Polyhydramnios is usually associated with neural tube defects. No treatment option is available for anencephaly.
Anencephaly can theoretically be diagnosed as early as 8 weeks; however, it can be missed in the first trimester. There is 100% accuracy in the second trimester for this diagnosis by ultrasound. One study showed sonography alone was 97% sensitive and 100% specific in diagnosing an open neural tube defect.
By ultrasound, the appearance will resemble “Mickey Mouse ears.” Additionally, a measurement from the top of the head to the rump (crown-rump length or CRL) is significantly reduced in affected fetuses in the first trimester.
An infant born with anencephaly has some or most of the brain missing. These infants are unconscious, cannot feel, and are usually blind and deaf. Infants with anencephaly are stillborn in about 75 percent of cases. Newborns who survive die within several hours, days, or weeks.
Anencephaly is when the neural tube fails to close at the base of the skull. Neural tube defects may be caused by genes passed on from both parents and by environmental factors. Some of these factors include obesity, uncontrolled diabetes in the mother, and some prescription medicines.
These findings demonstrate that anencephaly can be reliably diagnosed at the routine 10-14-week ultrasound scan, provided a specific search is made for the sonographic features for this condition.
Anencephaly is one of the most lethal congenital defects. This case report is of an anencephalic infant who lived to 28 months of life and defies current literature.
Getting enough folic acid before and during early pregnancy can help prevent neural tube defects, such as anencephaly. If you are pregnant or could get pregnant, take 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid every day.
One disorder similar to anencephaly in some ways is microcephaly. A baby born with this condition has a smaller-than-normal head circumference. Unlike anencephaly, which is apparent at birth, microcephaly may or may not be present at birth. It can develop within the first few years of life.
Most cases of anencephaly are sporadic, which means they occur in people with no history of the disorder in their family. A small percentage of cases have been reported to run in families; however, the condition does not have a clear pattern of inheritance.