VACTERL association

Last revised by Mostafa Elfeky on 11 Oct 2023

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 3.


Several conditions have features in common with VACTERL including 9:


The acronym VACTERL derives from:

At least three of the above features (in each category) are considered necessary for the diagnosis of this condition 1,3.

The association does not include cranial/CNS anomalies. If there is accompanying hydrocephalus, the term VACTERL-H is used by some authors 3.


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 8.

ADVERTISEMENT: Supporters see fewer/no ads

Cases and figures

  • Case 1
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 2
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 3
    Drag here to reorder.