Anencephaly, Rachischisis, and Encephaloceles

  • Reinhard L. Friede


The rather grotesque malformation of anencephaly has been recognized since medieval times; many references to published cases are found in the report of Warren (1951), and the comprehensive review of the literature by Nakano (1973) provides a wealth of specific epidemiological and other information. The frequency of the disease varies between approximately 0.5 and 2.0 per thousand births in the United States and most of Europe; it is locally higher in Britain and lower in Africa, Asia, and South America. Anencephaly may comprise 29.5 percent of all major abnormal births (Coffey and Jessop, 1957). Epidemiologic studies have shown that the variation relates to geography, race, social standing, seasons and many other factors; many of the reported variations in the frequency of anencephaly are concordant with similar variations for spina bifida. Epidemic waves of both lesions have been recorded (Janerich, 1973).


Bone Defect Spina Bifida Medulla Oblongata Cerebral Tissue Cranial Vault 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • Reinhard L. Friede
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Case Western Reserve UniversityClevelandUSA
  2. 2.University of ZurichSwitzerland

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