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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.
Last Revised: April 4, 2012
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & Siobhan M. Dolan, MD, MPH - Reproductive Genetics
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