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Spina bifida, MRI scan

Spina bifida, MRI scan

C015/4935

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Credit

ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Fibrolipoma of the spine. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan of a sagittal section through the spine of a 24-month-old patient with spina bifida. Spina bifida is a congenital disorder caused by the incomplete closing of the embryonic neural tube. Some vertebrae overlying the spinal cord are not fully formed and remain unfused and open. If the opening is large enough, a portion of the spinal cord may protrude (lower right) through the vertebrae, as in myelomeningocele spina bifida (seen here), with the meningeal membranes that cover the spinal cord forming a sac that encloses the spinal elements.

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