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Anencephaly: description in brief

This leaflet can help healthcare professionals speak with people, following suspected or confirmed diagnosis of anencephaly.



This publication explains the neural tube defect anencephaly, a condition screened for by an ultrasound scan as part of the NHS fetal anomaly screening programme (FASP).

The document includes information for parents of a screened positive baby about:

  • what the condition is
  • how common it is
  • how it is diagnosed and confirmed
  • what treatment is available
  • what the outlook for the baby is
  • what happens next
  • how likely it is to happen in future pregnancy
  • where more support and information is available