VACTERL Association


VACTERL Association is collection of birth defects affecting different systems of the body. Each letter represents a different abnormality. To be diagnosed with VACTERL there must be three (3) or more conditions identified.  

  • V: Vertebral Abnormalities: 

    • congenital scoliosis​

    • caudal regression

    • hemivertebrae

    • spina bifida 

    • missing bones in sacrum

    • and more

  • A: Anorectal Malformations:

    • Anal Atresia/Imperforate Anus​

    • Cloaca

  • C: Cardiac

    • hole in the heart​

    • other Cardiac problems

  • TE: Tracheo-oesophageal fistula

    • oesophageol atresia​

  • R: Renal anomalies, radial limb abnormailites

  • L: Limb abnormalities

    • polydactyly/oligodactyly​

    • other limb abnormalities

(Source: Radiopaedia, 2018)

Occurance rate: it is estimated to occur once in every 10,000 to 40,000 births (U.S National Library of Medicine - Genetic Home Reference, 2018)

Cause: Due to sporadic occurance with no family history of the condition, there is no one factor that can be identified as a cause of VACTERL. There are no consistent or specific genetic abnormalities that can be linked as the cause. (Genetic And Rare Diseases Information Centre, 2018)

Treatment: Every case is different, and treatment will be determined by the medical team based on the severity of each clinical feature. 


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