Body stalk anomaly: Adverse maternal outcomes in a series of 21 cases

  • Costa M
  • Couto E
  • Furlan E
 et al. 
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OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the demographic characteristics of cases with body stalk anomaly (BSA) and describe the obstetric outcome.

METHOD: Retrospective review of a case series of BSA diagnosed from 2000 to 2010.

RESULTS: Among the 21 cases, mean gestational age at diagnosis was 22 weeks (range 11-35 weeks). Ten cases elected termination of pregnancy, which was performed at a median gestational age of 24 weeks. One termination of pregnancy at 33 weeks' gestation in a woman with late diagnosis of BSA and a previous uterine scar, required cesarean section during labor because of clinical signs of uterine rupture. Of the remaining 11 cases, four were lost to follow-up, three delivered vaginally, three underwent elective cesarean sections, and one underwent cesarean section because of obstructed labor. Six of seven cases were growth restricted and six of seven were small for gestational age. There were no abnormal karyotypes among the nine cases which underwent cytogenetic studies.

CONCLUSION: Continuation of pregnancy in the presence of BSA is associated with greater maternal risks, in the form of labor complications requiring cesarean section. This information should be discussed with couples at the time of diagnosis.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Abdominal wall defect
  • Body stalk
  • Limb body wall complex
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal diagnosis

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  • Maria Laura Botelho Costa

  • Egle Couto

  • Erica Furlan

  • Renata Zaccaria

  • Kleber Andrade

  • Ricardo Barini

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