OBJECTIVES: to determine neural tube closing defects in newborns delivered in the maternity ward of the Women Care Center of the Instituto Materno Infantil Prof. Fernando Figueira (IMIP). METHODS: a descriptive cross-sectional cohort study, with data collected from a Born Alive Information System from which all records of newborns with fetal malformation were selected. From these records the ones pertaining to newborns between 2000 and 2004 with the neural tube closing defect were considered. RESULTS: of 24.964 births, 709 newborns with some type of malformation were registered. When narrowing this to the newborns with the neural tube closing defect the number disclosed was 124, with a prevalence of 0.5% of the births within the period. Newborns with the neural tube closing defect, in general, had similar characteristics to newborns with other malformations. The majority (68.5%) of these newborns was delivered through C-Section and 37.7% had low birthweight. CONCLUSIONS: a high prevalence of neural tube closing defect was determined, but this could have resulted from the fact that the maternity ward of Instituto Materno Infantil Prof. Fernando Figueira (IMIP) is a referral facility for high-risk pregnancies.
Folic acid; Neural tube defects; Information system; Live birth