What is hemivertebrae?

Hemivertebrae is a condition where half of a vertebra in the spine does not form. This can cause scoliosis, which is an abnormal curve of the spine. Hemivertebrae occur in fewer than one in 1000 births.

How is this condition managed during pregnancy?

When hemivertebra are seen on ultrasound, a careful evaluation of the rest of the fetus is performed because this condition can be seen along with other malformations, especially of the heart, kidneys, and intestinal tract. If other abnormalities are seen, genetic testing with an amniocentesis may be recommended. If hemivertebrae are the only abnormalities seen, then there is usually no special monitoring or therapy during the pregnancy.

How is this condition managed after delivery?

The prognosis depends on the number and location of the hemivertebrae in the spine. If there is a deformity of the spine because of the hemivertebrae, the usual management is surgery after birth.