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Spina Bifida

Open spina bifida screening at 12 weeks

All patients having the 12-week nuchal translucency scan at SO+GI will have spina bifida screening performed at the same time.  Currently, this is not routinely done at any other practice in Brisbane. Babies with open spina bifida develop changes in the back of the fetal brain called a Chiari II malformation. The fourth ventricle, or “intracranial translucency” as it is referred to at 12 weeks, is obliterated in open spina bifida.

Demonstrating a normal intracranial translucency (IT) significantly reduces the risk of open spina bifida in the fetus.

Absence of the “IT”  allows for very early detection of open spina bifida.

Normal posterior fossa as seen in sagittal view at the 12 week scan


Abnormal posterior fossa with effacement of the 4th ventricle (IT)


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