Comparison in the incidence of anorectal malformations between a first- and third-world referral center

Andre P. Theron, Giulia Brisighelli, Anne E. Theron, Ernesto Leva, Alp Numanoglu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Aim of study was to evaluate the differences in incidence and presentation of anorectal malformations (ARMs) between selected Pediatric Surgery Divisions in the Republic of South Africa (ZAR) and Italy. Methods: A retrospective cohort study involved analysis of clinical records of patients with ARM born between 2005 and 2012. Type of ARM, maternal age, birth weight, gestational age, presence of associated anomalies and delayed diagnosis were analyzed. Results: 335 patients were included in this study. Of note, statistically significant differences between the African and European patient groups were observed in a male predominance in the ZAR patient population. In addition, female recto-perineal fistulas were diagnosed in significantly more Italian patients than in ZAR. Furthermore, a more advanced maternal age and a lower gestational age was noted in the European cohort with a minimal delay in initial diagnosis as opposed to the African counterpart. Both centers reported recto-perineal fistula as the most common malformation in male patients. Conclusion: With the exception of perineal fistulas in females, the incidence of specific subtypes of ARMs was similar in the two groups. This may be of importance when extrapolating European study conclusion to the South African setting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)759-764
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric Surgery International
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2015


  • Anorectal malformation
  • Incidence
  • Italy
  • South Africa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Surgery

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