antenatal screening programme
Neural tube defect
Neural tube defects (spina bifida) are a developmental anomaly which occurs very early in pregnancy. The neural tube develops to form the spinal cord, brain and spine. When spina bifida occurs, the tube is split and one or more vertebrae (small bones of the back) fail to form properly, leaving a gap.
Read more about spina bifida on the NHS website.
UK NSC screening recommendation
Screening for neural tube defects (spina bifida) should be offered as part of the 18-20 week fetal anomaly scan.
Supporting documents from the 2006 review
Screening around the UK
The UK NSC recommends screening for this condition, however this may vary slightly depending on where you are in the UK.
Date previous review completed: 2006
Next review estimated to be completed: 2021 to 2022.
To see previous evidence reviews, visit the UK NSC archive.
Organisations interested in Neural tube defect
These organisations have expressed interest in this recommendation and may submit responses to evidence reviews.
List of organisations
- Faculty of Public Health
- Royal College of General Practitioners
- Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
- Royal College of Physicians
- Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow
- Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh
If you think your organisation should be added, please contact us.