Fetal myelomeningocele repair: the post-MOMS experience at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Fetal Diagn Ther. 2015;37(3):235-40. doi: 10.1159/000365353. Epub 2014 Aug 15.


Background: Fetal myelomeningocele (fMMC) repair has become accepted as a standard of care option in selected circumstances. We reviewed our outcomes for fMMC repair from referral and evaluation through surgery, delivery and neonatal discharge.

Material and methods: All patients referred for potential fMMC repair were reviewed from January 1, 2011 through March 7, 2014. Maternal and neonatal data were collected on the 100 patients who underwent surgery.

Results: 29% of those evaluated met the criteria and underwent fMMC repair (100 cases). The average gestational age was 21.9 weeks at evaluation and 23.4 weeks at fMMC repair. Complications included membrane separation (22.9%), preterm premature rupture of membranes (32.3%) and preterm labor (37.5%). Average gestational age at delivery was 34.3 weeks and 54.2% delivered at ≥35 weeks. The perinatal loss rate was 6.1% (2 intrauterine fetal demises and 4 neonatal demises); 90.8% of women delivered at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and 3.4% received transfusions. With regard to the neonates, 2 received ventriculoperitoneal shunts prior to discharge; 71.1% of neonates had no evidence of hindbrain herniation on MRI. Of the 80 neonates evaluated, 55% were assigned a functional level of one or more better than the prenatal anatomic level.

Conclusion: In an experienced program, maternal and neonatal outcomes for patients undergoing fMMC repair are comparable to results of the MOMS trial.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Fetal Diseases / surgery*
  • Fetal Therapies / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Meningomyelocele / surgery*
  • Philadelphia
  • Pregnancy
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult