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Case Report

Prenatal diagnosis of anencephaly and acrania in pregnant females – Report series of eight cases

Manna Debnath, Dolly Sharma, Sunny Mishra.


Acrania and anencephaly are characterized by the partial or complete absence of skull and brain tissue. Due to this, the neural tissue is exposed and it leads to non-function of few parts of the hemispheres. A total of eight cases of acrania and anencephaly were included in the report. Five cases were acrania and three cases were anencephaly. Both cases were diagnosed between 15 and 24 weeks of gestation period. In the present report, all the pregnant women carry fetuses with neural tube defects. Out of five acrania cases, there is a partial or complete absence of cranium in all the cases, and in one case, there is a twin intrauterine gestational sac that was noted. However, out of twin sac, the first one is having a good heart rate (155 bpm) and the second fetus is having no cardiac activity, i.e., early fetal demise. On the other hand, out of three anencephaly cases, two anencephaly cases were diagnosed with partial absence of the fetal brain and the complete absence of the cranium, and in one case, there is a partial absence of cerebral parenchymal tissue above the orbit with the absence of cranial vault. By the use of ultrasonography, we can diagnose the anencephaly and acrania at a very early stage without any side effects. The cause of anencephaly and acrania is dependent on the number of factors one of which is a folic acid deficiency. Sentence is reviewed and corrected): It is always better to consume the folic acid supplements that are advised by the physician during the planning of pregnancy to avoid the congenital anomalies of the fetus like anencephaly and acrania. The ultimate focus of the study is to evaluate the morphology of the fetus in case of anencephaly and acrania which could lead to the early detection of abnormalities and also to create awareness among people to take folic acid supplements to eschew such abnormalities.

Key words: Anencephaly; Alpha-fetoprotein Test; Acrania; Ultrasonography

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