Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus…

Written by Scott

Topics: Faith, Family

myelomeningocele

 

This is a great illustration I came across from Cincinnati Children’s on two of Evanna’s conditions: the spina bifida and the expected hydrocephalus (and as I’ll explain below, also indirectly illustrates the Chiari II malformation).
 
Normally-developed baby on left; baby with both conditions on the right.
 
For Evanna’s spina bifida, her lesion is lower and smaller than the illustration, and overall–and very much in general–the lower and smaller the lesion, the greater mobility and fewer issues. But every child can deviate from that expected prognosis in various ways.
 
For the hydrocephalus, there are two possible/likely factors at play that basically go hand-in-hand: the lesion and damage to the normal path for cerebral spinal fluid affect the ability for the excess to drain naturally, so it builds up in the ventricles of the brain. In addition, the Chiari II Malformation (where part of the back of the brain is shifted downward into the area where the brain stem normally is) further limits the draining of the excess CSF (cerebral spinal fluid). This shift can be from the same neural tube defect that causes the spina bifida itself, or can be from the increased pressure from the hydrocephalus, or can be from overdraining of CSF related to the spina bifida…or any combination of the above. 
In less than 19 days, at her birth, we’ll better know the extent of Evanna’s spina bifida and hydrocephalus. Stay tuned for more updates (and lots of pictures!) both here and on the Facebook Community page.