Affiliated Physicians: Maternal Fetal Medicine
What are open neural tube defects (ONTDs)?
Open neural tube defects (ONTDs) are defects in the primitive spine, called the neural tube, such as spina bifida (open spine) and anencephaly (open skull).
To evaluate the health of a pregnancy and fetus, many types of prenatal tests may be performed.
The vast majority of women have healthy pregnancies and their babies are born without difficulties. However, women with high-risk pregnancies often need a close watch for potential problems or complications. Fortunately, there are many tests and procedures to monitor the health of both mother and baby. Many of these pose little or no risk and can provide tremendous amounts of information to doctors, midwives, and expectant parents. Some types of testing and procedures, however, do carry some risks to mother, baby, or both. For this reason, if you are offered prenatal testing, it is important to discuss with your doctor or midwife the following questions:
Some mothers are more likely to need a closer watch on their pregnancy. Some conditions that may warrant maternal and fetal testing include the following: