ACMG Statements and Guidelines
These online statements and guidelines are definitive and may be cited using the digital object identifier (DOI). These recommendations are designed primarily as an educational resource for medical geneticists and other healthcare providers to help them provide quality medical genetics services; they should not be considered inclusive of all proper procedures and tests or exclusive of other procedures and tests that are reasonably directed to obtaining the same results. Please refer to the leading disclaimer in each document for more information.
- Open neural tube defects (ONTDs) include open spina bifida (OSB) and anencephaly. These defects are caused by incomplete closure of the neural tube at about 4 weeks of pregnancy. Levels of early second-trimester maternal serum (ms) alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) are sufficiently elevated in affected pregnancies to be used as a population-based screening test. The basic screening methodology was described in the late 1970s and screening programs were active a few years later. By identifying pregnancies with the highest msAFP levels, about 80% of OSB and 95% of anencephaly can be identified as early as 16 weeks gestation.