Junctional neural tube defect in a newborn: report of a fourth case.

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Child's nervous system : ChNS : official journal of the International Society for Pediatric Neurosurgery


Anorectal Malformations; Humans; Infant, Newborn; Male; Neural Tube Defects


INTRODUCTION: A discontinuous, functionally disconnected spinal cord is an extremely rare finding, with only three known reports in the literature. Titled junctional neural tube defect (JNTD), this newly reported dysraphism is believed to arise from a developmental error occurring during junctional neurulation, a transitory stage of development marked by the end of primary neurulation and the beginning of secondary neurulation. Herein, we report a newborn case of JNTD.

CASE REPORT: We report a newborn boy born with anorectal atresia. Physical examination revealed normal movement in the upper and lower extremities. Imaging revealed distal sacral agenesis and a spinal cord that was discontinuous at the thoracolumbar junction. Three vertebral segments inferiorly, at the L2 vertebral level, the distal end of the spinal cord (i.e., conus medullaris) were visualized. No signs of a tethered cord were identified.

CONCLUSIONS: Characterized by an error in junctional neurulation in which the primary and secondary NT fail to integrate appropriately, JNTD has been recently classified. We believe the current patient to represent only the fourth reported case of JNTD in the literature.

Clinical Institute

Neurosciences (Brain & Spine)

Clinical Institute

Women & Children