Alternate Names : Spinal Rachischisis, Spinal Dysraphism
How is the condition diagnosed?
Sometimes, spina bifida can be diagnosed with an alphafetoprotein blood test before a child is born. Further testing is recommended if the blood test is abnormal. A pregnancy ultrasound can be used to look at the baby inside the womb.
Another procedure, amniocentesis, may be done. This involves getting a sample of the fluid that surrounds the baby in the womb. A needle is inserted through the skin of the mother's belly and into the womb. Fluid is then taken out and sent to the lab for testing. The results of testing are often abnormal if a child has spina bifida.
This condition may or may not be obvious during a physical exam at birth. If a defect is seen or suspected, further special X-ray tests are often used to define the exact defect.