Multidisciplinary spina bifida clinic: the Chicago experience

Nathan A. Shlobin, Elizabeth B. Yerkes, Vineeta T. Swaroop, Sandi Lam, David G. McLone, Robin M. Bowman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Open spina bifida (open SB) is the most complex congenital abnormality of the central nervous system compatible with long-term survival. Multidisciplinary care is required to address the effect of this disease on the neurological, musculoskeletal, genitourinary, and gastrointestinal systems, as well as the complex psychosocial impact on the developing child. Individuals with SB benefit from the involvement of neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons, urologists, physical medicine and rehabilitation specialists, pediatricians, psychologists, physical/occupational/speech therapists, social workers, nurse coordinators, and other personnel. Multidisciplinary clinics are the gold standard for coordinated, optimal medical and surgical care. Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital, formerly known as Children’s Memorial Hospital, was one of the first hospitals in the USA to manage patients with this complex disease in a multidisciplinary manner. We describe the longitudinal experience of the multidisciplinary Spina Bifida Center at our institution and highlight the advances that have arisen from this care model over time. This clinic serves as an exemplar of organized, effective, and patient-centered approach to the comprehensive care of people living with open SB.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1675-1681
Number of pages7
JournalChild's Nervous System
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2022


  • Birth defect
  • Fetal repair
  • Folate fortification
  • Myelomeningocele
  • Neural tube defects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Clinical Neurology


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