Anencephaly is a condition in which a fetus forms with a partially formed brain and spinal cord. A child with this condition is stillborn or dies shortly after birth.
Anencephaly can be detected with prenatal tests, such as ultrasound and amniocentesis. If a woman learns that she is pregnant with a fetus that has anencephaly, termination of the pregnancy is usually offered.
Current as of: May 30, 2016
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & Siobhan M. Dolan, MD, MPH - Reproductive Genetics
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2017 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Donations to UW Health are managed by the University of Wisconsin Foundation, a publicly supported charitable organization under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.