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Background : Prevalence of births with neural tube defect varies geographically. There is no information about this issue in Srinagarind Hospital
Objective : To determine trends in birth prevalence of neural tube defects at Srinagarind Hospital during 19881996 and clinical characteristics of affected pregnancies.
Design : A retrospective descriptive study.
Setting : Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of medicine, Srinagarind Hospital, Khon Kaen University.
Subjects : All 44 births affected by neural tube defects from 45,350 total in 1988-1996.
Main outcome measures : birth prevalence of individual and all nural tube defects.
Results : Among 44 cases of neural tube defects, there were 38 cases of anencephaly, 4 cases of cephalocele and 2 cases of spina bifida. Birth prevalence of neural tube defects was 0.97/1,000 total births with no upward or down ward trend. Birth prevalence of anencephaly, cephalocele and spina bifida were 0.84, 0.09 and 0.04/1,000 total births respectively. Mean gestatinal age at delivery was 38 weeks and 22.7% of all neural tube defects were undiagnosed prenatally.
Conclusion : Birth prevalence of neural tube defects at Srinagarind hospital remained relatively stable. To enhance the fall in birth prevalence, the prenatal screening program for neural tube defects such as routine second trimester ultrasonographic screening should be established in the future.
Key words : neural tube defects, birth prevalence