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How is spina bifida diagnosed?

If you are pregnant, there are prenatal tests that can be performed to identify any birth defects, such as spina bifida. Blood tests of the mother can identify abnormally high levels of alpha-fetoprotein, which is indicative of spina bifida. Alpha-fetoprotein levels can also be measured by amniocentesis, a test that requires a sample of the amniotic fluid from the uterus. An ultrasound, which creates an image of the growing fetus, can confirm the presence of spina bifida.

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About this article

Author: Dr Idan Ben-Barak PhD, MSc, BSc (Med)
First answered: 07 Oct 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 5.0 out of 5
Votes: 1538 (Click smiley face below to rate)
Category: Fetal alcohol syndrome

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