A retrospective analysis of conservative versus active management in severe open myelomeningocele.

Zeitschrift fur Kinderchirurgie und Grenzgebiete

PubMedID: 551618

Boston VE, Wilkinson AJ. A retrospective analysis of conservative versus active management in severe open myelomeningocele. Z Kinderchir Grenzgeb. 1979;28(4):340-7.
88 patients with thoraco-lumbar myelomeningocele not operated upon in the 1976-1977 period were compared with 76 patients with the same condition operated upon in the 1964-1971 period. There was no significant difference in sex and hydrocephalus at birth in the two groups. Mortality was less in the surgically treated group only after the age of three months. Ventriculitis appeared to be related to the incidence of hydrocephalus in the surgically treated group. There was a reduced risk of developing progressive hydrocephalus after birth in the untreated group, and the neurological status of the survivors at one year was the same in both groups. Interpreting the results as indicating that early surgery increased the incidence of progressive hydrocephalus and ventriculitis, and might increase survival of more disabled infants, then non-surgical treatment is justified since survivors are no worse as a result of this non-active approach.