Use of an abdominal reapproximation anchor system in the closure of large, open myelomeningoceles

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Open neural tube defects are complex congenital abnormalities of the nervous system in which nervous tissue is exposed on the patient’s back at the time of delivery. These malformations require surgical correction, and although replacement of the neural placode internally is fairly standard, providing skin closure can be very challenging especially in large defects. An abdominal reapproximation anchor (ABRA) device may be of value in attaining skin closure in these large, open myelomeningocele defects in which primary closure cannot be accomplished surgically. In a study period during which 65 patients underwent surgical closure of open myelomeningocele defects, 5 of them underwent ABRA-assisted closure.

The average surgical intervention for myelomeningocele repair occurred on day 2.2 of life (range 2–3 days). The average defect size was 37 cm2 (range 16–56 cm2), and the average time to formal closure was 30.8 days (range 8–63 days). One of the patients had natural closure with just ABRA approximation. The remaining 4 patients underwent formal delayed primary closure when the skin edges became approximated. Use of the ABRA system in the closure of a large, open myelomeningocele may be valuable in select patients but requires further follow-up and comparison to identify truly significant differences with traditional techniques.

ABBREVIATIONS ABRA = abdominal reapproximation anchor.
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Contributor Notes

Correspondence Renee M. Reynolds: Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University at Buffalo, NY. rreynolds@ubns.com.INCLUDE WHEN CITING Published online January 24, 2020; DOI: 10.3171/2019.11.PEDS19225.Disclosures The authors report no conflict of interest concerning the materials or methods used in this study or the findings specified in this paper.
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