Cantrell's pentalogy is a rare multiple malformation syndrome consisting of supraumbilical abdominal wall defect, sternal defect, pericardial defect, anterior diaphragmatic defect and heart malformation. Aims and methods: Prenatal ultrasound findings and malformations described during autopsy of the Cantrell's pentalogy cases diagnosed between January 1991 and June 2009 in our institute were reviewed. A literature research was conducted to analyze the prevalence and prenatal detection rate of the five previously described malformations and ectopia cordis in the Cantrell's pentalogy cases. Results: Six cases of Cantrell's pentalogy were diagnosed during the study period in our department. Sonography detected multiple malformations in 3 cases, and isolated malformation in 3 cases. Analyzing the data of 49 Cantrell's pentalogy cases altogether showed that, beside abdominal wall defect and ectopia cordis which had the highest prenatal detection rate (83% and 91% with a prevalence of 94% and 69%, respectively), sternal defect and anterior diaphragmatic hernia were also present in a large number of the cases (80% and 73% respectively). Conclusion: Sonographic identification of the sternal defect or diaphragmatic hernia may help to differentiate Cantrell's pentalogy from malformations part of the syndrome but occurring as isolated defects.
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