Structural birth defects associated with omphalocele and gastroschisis, Hawaii, 1986–2001

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There is limited information on the specific structural birth defects associated with the abdominal wall defects (AWD) omphalocele and gastroschisis, particularly which defects occur with the AWD at greater than expected rates (rates among all infants and fetuses with birth defects other than the AWD). Using data from a population-based birth defects registry in Hawaii, this study calculated the rates for 48 specific structural birth defects among the AWD and compared these rates to the expected rates. There were 60 cases of omphalocele, 96 cases of gastroschisis, and 12 161 infants and fetuses with structural birth defects excluding the AWD among deliveries during 1986–2001. For omphalocele, higher than expected rates were found for 23 (47.9%) of the defects. These involved defects of a variety of organ systems. For gastroschisis, higher than expected rates were found for 8 (16.7%) of the defects, mainly neural tube defects (NTD) and specific defects of the orofacial and gastrointestinal system and the genital and urinary system. Both omphalocele and gastroschisis had elevated rates for NTD, intestinal atresia/stenosis, malrotation of intestines, obstructive genitourinary defects and limb reduction deformities. Certain specific structural birth defects occurred more often than expected with the AWD. The associated birth defects tended to vary between omphalocele and gastroschisis, although there were a few similarities. Due to the small number of cases, further research involving larger amounts of data are warranted.

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