Aims: Compare the need for neonatal resuscitation procedures between newborn infants with and without meningomyelocele (MMC).
Results: This retrospective case-control study included 94 neonates with MMC, defined as open spinal dysraphism with exposure of nervous tissue, and 94 controls without malformations, paired with MMC infants by gender, mode of delivery, gestational age and time of birth. Infants were born at a university hospital in São Paulo, Brazil, from 2001 to 2010. After adjusting for perinatal variables (prenatal care, maternal hypertension, birth during the day shift, cephalic presentation, meconium in the amniotic fluid, gestational age <37 weeks and small-for-gestational-age infants), MMC increased the chance of positive pressure ventilation at birth [odds ratio (OR) 4.55 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.82–11.41], intubation at birth (OR 3.94 95% CI 1.14–13.59) and 1-min Apgar score 95% CI 0.99–7.57).
Conclusion: MMC is an independent factor associated with the need for positive pressure ventilation and intubation at birth.