Meningocele is one of the common congenital neural tube defects. Meningocele is the simplest form of open neural tube defects characterized by cystic dilatation of meninges containing cerebrospinal fluid without any neural tissue.
In this specimen, the meningocele is observed as a protrusion of intracranial contents through a defect in the skull. Meningioceles contain meninges alone, without actual brain tissue herniating through the defect. If both brain and meninges are contained in the mass, the term meningoencephalocele is used.
The meningocele is also observed as a birth defect where there is a sac protruding from the spinal cord. The sac includes spinal fluid, but does not contain neural tissue. It may be covered with skin or with meninges. The sac often is visible from the outside of the back.
Meningoceles are considered to be neural tube defects and are a form of spina bifida (6). It is the least common type of spina bifida. Spina bifida occurs in about 1 out of every 1,000 births.
A disease or physical abnormality present from birth, i.e., a birth defect
Neural tube defect:
Neural tube defects are severe birth defects of the brain and spinal cord. They are caused by a combination of multiple genes and multiple environmental factors. Known environmental factors include folic acid, maternal insulin dependent diabetes, and maternal use of certain anticonvulsant (antiseizure) medications
The coverings of the brain and spinal cord is called the meninges. It is made up of three layers: duramater, arachnoid mater and piamater.
Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is a clear, colorless body fluid found within the tissue that surrounds the brain and spinal cord of all vertebrates. The CSF is produced by specialized ependymal cells (neuroepithelial lining of the ventricular system of brain) in the choroid plexuses (a plexus of cells that arises from the tela choroidea- a region of meningeal pia mater that adheres to the underlying ependyma in each of the ventricles of the brain). CSF acts as a cushion or buffer, providing basic mechanical and immunological protection to the brain inside the skull. CSF also serves a vital function in the cerebral autoregulation of cerebral blood flow.
Meningoencephalocele is a type of encephalocele, and is an abnormal sac of fluid, brain tissue, and meninges that protrudes outwards through a defect in the skull.
Spina bifida is a birth defect that occurs when the spine (vertebral column) and spinal cord does not form properly. It is a type of neural tube defect.