Saturday, December 15, 2012

Vactrel Association In Depth

The acronym VACTREL refers to a group of birth defects that occur together.  These birth defects affect many parts of the body.  It can cause many symptoms, so it is unknown how many children are affected by it.  It may occur with some chromosome defects such as Trisomy 18 (Edwards Syndrome), or in children whose mothers have diabetes, but it's exact cause is unknown.  Each letter in VACTREL represents the first letter of each common symptom.  But, not all the children that have this have every symptom.  

  • V stands for vertebrae (bones of the spine), which are abnormal
  • A stands for anal atresia or imperforate anus, meaning an anus that does not open to the outside of the body
  • C stands for cardiac (heart) defects, usually an abnormal hole between parts of the heart (ventricular septal defect or atrial septal defect)
  • T stands for tracheoesphageal fistula, meaning an abnormal connection between the trachea (windpipe) and the esophagus (the food tube to the stomach)
  • E stands for esophageal atresia, meaning the esophagus does not connect to the stomach
  • R stands for renal (kidney) defects
  • L stands for limb (arm) defects such as absent or displaced thumbs, extra fingers (polydactyly), fused fingers (syndactyly), or a missing bone in the arms or legs
Some infants born with this, have only one umbilical artery (instead of the normal two).  Many infants are born small and have difficulty growing or gaining weight.  Diagnosis and treatment are dependent on the infants symptoms and birth defects.  Stay Informed!

1 comment:

  1. this is great! thanks so much for looking into it. Holly