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Pediatr Surg Int. 2013 Sep;29(9):905-12. doi: 10.1007/s00383-013-3356-y.

Coloboma and anorectal malformations: a rare association with important clinical implications.

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Colorectal Center for Children, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, 3333 Burnet Avenue, ML 2023, Cincinnati, OH 45229, USA.



In a patient with an anorectal malformation (ARM), the presence of a coloboma is commonly associated with other serious anomalies.


Our database and the world literature were reviewed searching for associated defects in patients with ARM and coloboma.


Of 2,482 ARMs in our database, 11 had coloboma (0.4%): 2 were females. No specific associated type of ARM was identified. Six patients were developmentally delayed. Eight had a cardiac anomaly (3 had TAPVR, 2 VSD, 3 ASD), five required a cardiac operation. Five had a gastrointestinal anomaly (3 malrotation, 1 biliary and 1 duodenal atresia). Six had eye and seven had ear anomalies. Five had a genetic abnormality. In the literature, 71 patients with ARM and coloboma were found: 65 % were females. 24% died prematurely. 74% were developmentally delayed. 70% had a cardiac malformation (35% had TAPVR, 38% required an operation). 57% had gastrointestinal anomalies (31% malrotation, 31 % biliary atresia, 17% Hirschsprung disease). Eye and ear anomalies were present in 80 and 97% of patients, respectively. 81% had a genetic abnormality.


An ocular inspection in patients born with ARM is crucial. The finding of a coloboma should increase awareness to evaluate for a developmental, cardiologic or gastrointestinal anomaly.

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