PURPOSE: To evaluate fetal survival rate using a modified technique to surgically create a "myelomeningocele-like" defect in the rabbit model. METHODS: Six white New Zealand rabbits had a spinal defect created in their fetuses at 23 days of gestation. The defect was created in 19 fetuses and an attempt to correct it was made in 15 cases (group I), 4 fetuses where left without correction (group II)At 30 days of gestation, fetuses were harvested for anathomo-pathologic evaluation. RESULTS: At 30 days, a "myelomeningocele-like" defect was present in all surviving fetuses. The total survival rate was 73,68% (14/19), 11 fetus survived in group I and 3 in group II. CONCLUSION: The technique modifications including fetal positioning and exposure of its back prior to the incision of the lamina associated to a different technique for miometrium closure offers an alternative and probably safer method to surgically create a spinal defect in the fetal rabbit.
Fetal surgery; Meningomyelocele; Spinal dysraphism; Rabbit; Prenatal; Disease models, animal