Risk factors for gastroschisis

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39577.589699.BE (Published 19 June 2008)
Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:1386

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  1. Pierpaolo Mastroiacovo, professor of paediatrics
  1. 1Centre of the International Clearinghouse for Birth Defects Surveillance and Research, 00195 Rome, Italy
  1. icbd{at}icbd.org

    Genitourinary infection in early pregnancy can be added to the existing list

    Gastroschisis is a small abdominal fissure lateral to an intact umbilical cord, generally to the right. The bowel herniates throughout the fissure and is not covered by membrane. Unlike most other birth defects, reported rates of gastroschisis have increased over the past 25 years from 0.1-1.0 per 10 000 births to 3.0-5.0 per 10 000 births in many developed and developing countries, with the notable exception of Italy, where rates have remained stable at under 1.0 per 10 000.1 2 3 In the linked research paper, Feldkamp and colleagues assess whether genitourinary infections increased the risk for gastroschisis in participants in the national birth defects prevention study (NBDPS).4

    Research on risk factors has previously been hampered by the relative rarity of the defect and by unclear case definition. For example, the ICD-9 (international classification of diseases, 9th revision) coding system combined omphalocele and gastroschisis under a single code (756.7). Moreover, the pathogenesis and the embryological period during which the defect develops are still …

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