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An Audit of the Posterior Fossa Characterization in Open Spina Bifida Based on Tertiary Center Experience

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT03544970
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : June 4, 2018
Last Update Posted : December 19, 2018
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Universitaire Ziekenhuizen Leuven

Brief Summary:
Brain stem and posterior fossa measurements in spina bifida aperta fetuses to compare them with normal population. Additionally, Describe the difference between pre- and postoperative findings.

Condition or disease
Fetal Anomaly Spinal Dysraphism Chiari Malformation Type 2

Detailed Description:

Spina bifida aperta (SBA), often referred to as myelomeningocele (MMC) or myeloschisis, is a devastating yet non-lethal congenital malformation with complex physical and neurodevelopmental sequelae. Its prevalence is approximately 4.9 per 10,000 live births in Europe and 3.17 in the United States. SBA results in motor and sensory deficits, their extension being defined by the upper level of the anatomical defect. These range, as the level increases, from bladder, bowel and sexual dysfunction, to involvement of the lower and even upper extremities, and secondary orthopaedic disabilities. Despite improvements in prevention, diagnosis, and postnatal management, SBA remains a major source of morbidity and mortality throughout the world. Children with SBA almost invariably have an associated Chiari II hindbrain malformation (CM II) and ventriculomegaly. The Chiari II malformation is characterized by posterior fossa (PF) and brain stem abnormalities, with downward displacement and compression of the cerebellum and brain stem.

Geerdink demonstrated that morphometric measures reliably quantify the morphological distortions of Chiari II malformation on postnatal MR images. These included downward herniation of the cerebellum, displacement of pons, medulla and fourth ventricle, medullary kinking, abnormal fourth ventricle, tentorium and mesencephalic tectum. The mamillopontine distance (MPD) and the cerebellar width were the most sensitive and specific determinant of Chiari II. Some foetuses with SBA have ventriculomegaly and its degree is believed to be predictive for the need of postnatal shunting.

In 2011, the Management of Myelomeningocele Study (MOMS) demonstrated the benefit of in utero repair of MMC as the need for ventricular shunting at 12 months was reduced and motor outcome at 30 months improved. Fetuses with the suspicion of SBA should be assessed comprehensively to counsel parents about the expected outcome and whether they would be candidates for fetal surgery. In this assessment, fetal MR has a crucial role to characterize the extent of brain abnormalities, the level of the lesion, and to rule out additional anomalies in fetuses with SBA. For fetal surgery eligibility, the presence of CM II on MR is a necessary finding. Many measurements have been proposed to describe the typical PF changes in fetuses with SBA, yet the reproducibility of these has rarely been studied. These include the transverse cerebellar diameter (TCD), the transverse diameter of the posterior fossa (TDPF), the midsagittal PF area, the level of cerebellar herniation and the clivus-supraocciput angle (CSA). These parameters have also been shown to change after in utero repair of SBA in small series and at different time points after fetal surgery, yet no study has consistently reported early postoperative assessment in utero.

The aims of this study were threefold: (1) to assess the reproducibility of measurements of the brain stem and PF that have been suggested to be representative on postnatal 8,9 and prenatal MR imaging (2) apply those parameters that were shown to be reproducible, to discriminate fetuses with SBA from gestational age matched fetuses with a normal PF; (3) and document early changes in these measurements one week after fetal surgery.

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Study Type : Observational
Actual Enrollment : 316 participants
Observational Model: Cohort
Time Perspective: Retrospective
Official Title: An Audit of the Posterior Fossa Characterization in Open Spina Bifida Based on Tertiary Center Experience
Actual Study Start Date : April 1, 2017
Actual Primary Completion Date : October 26, 2017
Actual Study Completion Date : October 31, 2018

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. (1) assess the reliability of brain stem and posterior fossa measurements and compare the reliable ones with a normal populations (2) and between paired pre- and postsurgical fetuses [ Time Frame: Examinations from 2011 - 2016 ]

    Biometric variables include the transverse cerebellar diameter (TCD), Transverse diameter of the fossa posterior (TDPF), the midsagittal PF area. The ventricular width will be measured in the coronal plane according to Garel and in case of asymmetry the largest value will be taken into account. Mammilopontine distande (MPD), the level of kinking of the brain stem, medullary length, tentorial length and width of the cisterna magna will be measured. The width of the foramen magnum is defined as the distance between opisthion to the basion. Tonsillar level (TL) will be measured by drawing a perpendicular line from the foramen magnum to the lowest cerebellar portion. In the presence of cerebellar herniation the deepest portion will be used. The cerebellopontine angle will also be measured.

    These are all metric data and will be reported in mm. To adjust for normal changes according to gestational age, there will be a correction based on an observed/expeted ratio for the parameters.

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Ages Eligible for Study:   Child, Adult, Older Adult
Sexes Eligible for Study:   Female
Gender Based Eligibility:   Yes
Gender Eligibility Description:   Pregnant
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No
Sampling Method:   Probability Sample
Study Population
Fetuses with spina bifida aperta with an additiona lsubgroup of matched pairs with pre- and postoperative imaging

Inclusion Criteria:

  • patients were those having fetal MR examination for additional assessment because of the prenatal diagnosis of SBA on ultrasound.
  • appropriate gestational age - matched controls. The latter were fetuses assessed for other congenital anomalies, which do not affect the central nervous system (CNS) or were scanned for suspected CNS abnormalities with normal prenatal US, fetal MR and normal postnatal evaluation

Exclusion Criteria:

  • twin pregnancy, syndromal pathology, fetal hydrops or anhydramnios.
  • poor image quality

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT03544970

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University Hospitals Leuven
Leuven, Belgium, 3000
Sponsors and Collaborators
Universitaire Ziekenhuizen Leuven
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Responsible Party: Universitaire Ziekenhuizen Leuven Identifier: NCT03544970    
Other Study ID Numbers: s60814
First Posted: June 4, 2018    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: December 19, 2018
Last Verified: December 2018

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Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Drug Product: No
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product: No
Keywords provided by Universitaire Ziekenhuizen Leuven:
fetal MRI
Posterior fossa
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Spinal Dysraphism
Arnold-Chiari Malformation
Neural Tube Defects
Spina Bifida Cystica
Congenital Abnormalities
Nervous System Malformations
Nervous System Diseases