Send to

Choose Destination
Teratology. 1992 Nov;46(5):455-64.

Absence of limbs and gross body wall defects: an epidemiological study of related rare malformation conditions.

Author information

IPIMC, Servizio Epidemiologia e Clinica Difetti Congeniti, Rome, Italy.


The study is based on almost 10 million births and reports on 215 infants with two unusual malformations: amelia and gross body wall defect. Amelia without body wall defect was present in 116 cases, 67 had body wall defects without amelia, and 32 had both. The total rate was 2.2 per 100,000 births. The infants were divided into five mutually exclusive groups. There were 40 infants (0.4 per 100,000) with agenesis of the body stalk, 18 with amelia and other types of gross body wall defects (0.2 per 100,000), 56 with amelia and malformations other than gross body wall defects (0.6 per 100,000), 41 with amelia (with or without other limb reduction defects) but no nonlimb malformations (0.4 per 100,000), and 60 infants with gross body wall defects of a type other than agenesis of body stalk and without amelia (0.6 per 100,000). A weak trend of decreasing prevalence of these malformations was found during the observation period. Infants with agenesis of the body stalk and infants with amelia combined with other types of gross body wall defects occurred at an increased rate in infants of young women. This maternal age effect is also found with gastroschisis, but not with omphalocele, and may indicate etiological or pathogenetic similarities between gastroschisis and the two former groups of defect. In infants with amelia, additional limb reduction defects could be of any type: transverse, longitudinal, or intercalary. Therefore, amelia may be the end result of different types of disturbances of limb morphogenesis. There was an increased rate of twinning. The relationship with amniotic band syndrome is discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center