BSIP, CAVALLINI JAMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BSIP, CAVALLINI JAMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Spina bifida, coloured myelogram. This is a meningocele, the protrusion of the meninges (coloured) through a malformed spinal column. The meninges are the membranes that line the brain and spinal cord. They contain cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), which protects the nervous tissue. In a meningocele, the least common form of spina bifida, the bones of the spine do not form properly and the meninges herniate through them. In this form, there is usually little nerve damage and hence no disability. Spina bifida is thought to be at least partly due to a lack of folic acid (vitamin B9) during pregnancy. A myelogram uses a contrast medium to image the CSF.
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