Neural Tube Defects

  • Kate C. Arnold
  • Caroline J. Flint


Neural tube defects include spina bifida and anencephaly. They are associated with maternal diabetes and use of antiepileptic drugs as well as a history of a previous pregnancy with a neural tube defect. The defects are often due to low levels of folate at the time of neural tube closure, which is why recommended folate supplementation should begin prior to conception [1].


Neural tube Spina bifida Maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein Folic acid 


  1. 1.
    Gabbe SG, Niebyl JR, Simpson JL, Landon MB, Galan HL, Jauniaux ERM, Driscoll DA. Obstetrics: normal and problem pregnancies. Chapter 7. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2012.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. ACOG practice bulletin no. 44: neural tube defects. Obstet Gynecol. 2003;102:203–13.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kate C. Arnold
    • 1
  • Caroline J. Flint
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of OB/GYNUniversity of Oklahoma HSCOklahoma CityUSA

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