Anencephaly: pitfalls in pregnancy outcome and relevance of the prenatal exam

Vol. 50 No. 2, 2009


V. I. Tica, M. Beghim, Irina Tica, M. Zaher, Esra Beghim

Anencephaly is an embryological malformation of the central nervous system, invariable lethal, characterized by the absence of the brain and cranial vault and by other defects of the cranial structures. It has no cure but it can be detected during the pregnancy with ultrasonography. We present a rare case of a 15-year-old primipara, with no prenatal care, who delivered at 37 weeks an anencephalous female newborn. Ultrasonography avoided the confusion with a breach presentation, which, in conjunction with the prematurity, premature rupture of membranes and the young maternal age would have favored the cesarean section. The rarity of the case is increased by the singularity of the malformation. The importance of the prenatal care and genetic workup are stressed out in this embryologic pathology.

Corresponding author: Vlad I. Tica, MD, PhD, e-mail:

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