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Classification and external resources
ICD-10 Q05, Q76.0
ICD-9-CM 741, 756.17
MeSH C10.500.680.800

Rachischisis (Greek: "rhachis - ῥάχις" - spine, and "schisis - σχίσις" - split) is a developmental birth defect involving the neural tube. This anomaly occurs in utero, when the posterior neuropore of the neural tube fails to close by the 27th intrauterine day. As a consequence the vertebrae overlying the open portion of the spinal cord do not fully form and remain unfused and open, leaving the spinal cord exposed. Patients with rachischisis have motor and sensory deficits, chronic infections, and disturbances in bladder function. This defect often occurs with anencephaly.

Craniorachischisis is a variant of rachischisis that occurs when the entire spinal cord and brain are exposed - simultaneous complete rachischisis and anencephaly. It is incompatible with life; affected pregnancies often end in miscarriage or stillbirth. Infants born alive with craniorachischisis die soon after birth.[1][2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Craniorachischisis | Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD) – an NCATS Program". rarediseases.info.nih.gov. Retrieved 2017-02-16. 
  2. ^ "Orphanet: Craniorachischisis". www.orpha.net. Retrieved 2017-02-16.