A newborn baby is diagnosed with the neural-tube defect meningocele. Which of the following definitions most accurately describes meningocele?
• A meningocele, a type of spina bifida, refers to a sac that contains meninges and CSF protruding outside the vertebrae. The spinal cord is not involved, so there is usually no long-term neurological damage.
• The meningocele appears as a protruding mass at the center of the lumbar region. The protrusion may be covered by a layer of skin or only a clear dura mater.
• A myelomeningocele is a herniation that includes the spinal cord, meninges, and CSF into a sac that protrudes through a defect in the vertebral arch. The nerves are often exposed and at risk for developing meningitis.