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Objective: To determine the risk factors, presentation and outcome of meningomyelocele repair Methods: We reviewed 150 cases operated for meningomyelocele (MMC) at Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre Karachi between May 2015 and May 2018. Data of infants operated for MMC repair was extracted including socioeconomic status, maternal folate intake during pregnancy, head circumference, location and width of the defect, accompanying bladder and limb anomalies and treatments administered. Patients were followed up for a mean period of six months.Results:A total of 150 children were evaluated, out of which there were 83(55.3%) males and 67(44.7%) females. All belonged to low socio economic group and prenatal maternal folate intake as risk factor was positive in 103(68.7%) cases. Mean head circumference was 37.4 cm (range, 30.7 to 50 cm). Based on their location, 83(55%) of the defects were lumbosacral, 38(25.4%) were lumbar, 16(10.7%) were thoraco lumbar, 10(6.7%) were thoracic and three (2%) were cervical. Mean size of the meningomyelocele sac was 4.3 cm×5.6 cm (range, 1cm×2cm to 11cm×8.4cm) and 21(14%) of the babies had a skin defect requiring flap. According to accompanying anomalies, 98(65.3%) of the babies had hydrocephalus, 13(9%) had club foot, four (2.7%) had diastematomyelia and three (2%) had tethered cord. Eighty seven (58%) patients had neurological deficit pre operatively and eight (5.4%) patients with normal power deteriorated after surgery out of which five (3.3%) developed paraplegia and three (2%) developed paraparesis. CSF leak was the major complication encountered in 16(11%) followed by meningitis in seven (5%), while the overall mortality was four (2.6%).Conclusion: The practice of periconceptional folic acid supplementation is essential to reduce the prevalence of neural tube defects (NTDs) in the developing world. Improved maternal nutrition with access to quality antenatal care is vital to decrease the prevalence and health burden.

Lal Rehman, Munwar Shiekh, Ali Afzal, Raza Rizvi. (2020) Risk factors, presentation and outcome of meningomyelocele repair, Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences, Volume -36, Issue 3.
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