Screening and Tests for Myelomeningocele
Screening for myelomeningocele can begin during pregnancy. During the second trimester, pregnant women may have a blood test called a quadruple screen, which screens for myelomeningocele, Down syndrome and other congenital disorders. In most cases, women carrying a baby with myelomeningocele will have elevated levels of a protein called maternal alpha fetoprotein.
If this prenatal screening is positive, other tests will be used to confirm the results. These tests for myelomeningocele include pregnancy ultrasound and amniocentesis.
After the baby is born, the condition can usually be detected visually, and a neurological examination may show any loss of nerve-related function below the defect. Other tests performed after birth may include x-rays, ultrasound, CT scan or an MRI of the spinal area.