Spina bifida consists of incomplete closure of the spinal canal together with a defect in the spinal arches of varying degree. The spine (35) is visualized in the sagittal (Fig. 68.1) and coronal (Fig. 68.2) plane. Subsequently each vertebra is reviewed in the transverse plane in a craniocaudal direction since this will best reveal any interruption of the chain of the posterior elements, including the spinous process. The transverse section (Fig. 68.3) must delineate the three ossification centers (35) of each segment as a triangle of closely adjacent structures. The fetal aorta (15) is seen anteriorly.

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