VACTERL is an acronym that describes a non-random constellation of congenital anomalies. It is not a true syndrome as such and is equivalent to the VATER anomaly.
The estimated incidence is 1 in 10,000-40,000 births .
The acronym VACTERL derives from:
- V: vertebral anomalies
- A: anorectal anomalies
- C: cardiac anomalies; cleft lip
- TE: tracheo-esophageal fistula +/- esophageal atresia
- R: renal anomalies; radial ray anomalies
- L: limb anomalies
At least three of the above features (in each category) is considered necessary for the diagnosis of this condition .
The vast majority of VACTERL associations are thought to have a sporadic occurrence with occasional autosomal recessive forms. There is no known underlying genetic defect .