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Clinical and genetic approach in the characterization of newborns with anorectal malformation

  • Authors: Schierz I.A.M.; Piro E.; Giuffre M.; Pinello G.; Angelini A.; Antona V.; Cimador M.; Corsello G.
  • Publication year: 2022
  • Type: Articolo in rivista
  • OA Link:


Objective: This study aimed to investigate clinical, surgical, and genetic data of neonates with anorectal malformation (ARM). Study design: A retrospective observational study was conducted on neonates with ARM as an isolated type (group 1), with ≤2 (group 2), and with ≥3 associated malformations (group 3), born between 2009 and 2020. Distribution of ARM, associated abnormalities and genetic testing were analyzed, and risk factors for adverse outcomes were identified. Results: The 45 ARM cases (36% females) were divided as follows: 13 neonates belonging to group 1 (29%), 8 to group 2 (18%), and 24 to group 3 (53%). Cases were equally distributed over 11 years. Krickenbeck anatomy was: without fistula/imperforate anus (18%), perineal fistula (36%), rectourethral fistula (4%), rectovesical fistula (2%), vestibular fistula (4%), cloaca (4%), and rare ARMs (31%). Groups showed differences in anthropometric data, Krickenbeck anatomy, and intensive care burden. Additional major congenital abnormalities were prevalent specific of VATER/VACTERL spectrum (vertebral/anorectal/cardiac/tracheoesophageal/renal/limb defects), but also Hirschsprung disease was found in 3/20 biopsies (15%). The most frequent minor abnormality was a single umbilical artery. In group 3, we identified four de novo microdeletions at 8p23.2, 8q13.3, Xp22.31–p22.2, Xq28, four de novo microduplications at 1p36.32, 6p24.1–p23, 13q14.11, 15q11.2, one microdeletion at 9q33.1 inherited from the affected mother, one microdeletion at 7q35 inherited from the unaffected father, one structurally uncharacterized rearrangement involving 9p23–q34.3. Thus, we attributed the Xq28 deletion with inactivated FAM58A gene in one girl to the X-linked dominant STAR syndrome (toe syndactyly-telecanthus-anogenital/renal malformations). Conclusions: Despite the great physical and social burden on ARM patients and their parents, in the majority of cases, the etiology is largely unknown and attributed to be multifactorial. In females, STAR syndrome should be part of the differential diagnosis. Associated malformations of other organ systems interact in outcome parameters.