Low vertebral ano-rectal cardiac tracheo-esophageal renal limb screening rates in children with anorectal malformations

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Journal of Surgical Research








Anal atresia; Anorectal malformation; Congenital anomaly; Imperforate anus; Screening; VACTERL


© 2016 Elsevier Inc. Background The aim of this study was to establish the rate of screening for associated cardiac, vertebral, spinal cord, urologic, and limb anomalies vertebral ano-rectal cardiac tracheo-esophageal renal limb (VACTERL) in children with anorectal malformation (ARM). Methods We performed a retrospective cohort study using the Medicaid Analytic eXtract database which contains enrollment and utilization claims and demographic information from all Medicaid enrollees. Patients born between January 2005 and December 2008 with International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision codes for a diagnosis of ARM within 30 days of life, an ARM procedure code during the first year of life, and a minimum of 12 months of continuous enrollment were included. VACTERL screening was determined using International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision and Current Procedural Terminology codes for diagnostic tests used to detect these anomalies. Results A total of 406 patients were identified (231 males). Evaluation of the spinal vertebrae was performed in 94% of patients (381 of 406). Spinal cord evaluation was performed in 57% (231 of 406): 52% (121 of 231) received spinal ultrasound (US), 24% (56 of 231) received spinal magnetic resonance imaging, and 23% (54 of 231) received both. Sacral radiographs were performed in 8% (32 of 406) and 77% (313 of 406) underwent an echocardiogram. Genitourinary evaluation was performed in 84% (341 of 406): 67% (229 of 341) received renal US, 8% (27 of 341) received abdominal US, and 25% (85 of 341) received both. Limb evaluation was recorded in 19% (76 of 406). Multiple screening including an echocardiogram, spinal radiograph, spinal cord evaluation, and renal evaluation was performed in 45% (181 of 406); 2% (7 of 406) did not receive any screening tests. Conclusions Low VACTERL screening in children with ARM suggests that associated anomalies may be undiagnosed which may lead to increased long-term morbidity.

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