Advances in Neonatal Care

Skip Navigation LinksHome > April 2009 - Volume 9 - Issue 2 > Recognition of Caudal Regression Syndrome
Advances in Neonatal Care:
doi: 10.1097/ANC.0b013e31819de44f
Focus on the Physical

Recognition of Caudal Regression Syndrome

Boulas, Mari M. APRN, NNP-BC

Section Editor(s): MERRITT, LINDA MSN, RNC

Continued Education
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Caudal regression syndrome, also referred to as caudal dysplasia and sacral agenesis syndrome, is a rare congenital malformation characterized by varying degrees of developmental failure early in gestation. It involves the lower extremities, the lumbar and coccygeal vertebrae, and corresponding segments of the spinal cord. This is a rare disorder, and true pathogenesis is unclear. The etiology is thought to be related to maternal diabetes, genetic predisposition, and vascular hypoperfusion, but no true causative factor has been determined. Fetal diagnostic tools allow for early recognition of the syndrome, and careful examination of the newborn is essential to determine the extent of the disorder. Associated organ system dysfunction depends on the severity of the disease. Related defects are structural, and systematic problems including respiratory, cardiac, gastrointestinal, urinary, orthopedic, and neurologic can be present in varying degrees of severity and in different combinations. A multidisciplinary approach to management is crucial. Because the primary pathology is irreversible, treatment is only supportive.

© 2009 National Association of Neonatal Nurses


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