To describe cases of sirenomelia and severe caudal regression syndrome (CRS), to report the prevalence of sirenomelia, and compare our findings with the literature.
Retrospective data was retrieved from the medical records of infants with the diagnosis of sirenomelia and CRS and their mothers from 1989 to 2010 (22 years) at the Security Forces Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. A perinatologist, neonatologist, pediatric neurologist, and radiologist ascertained the diagnoses. The cases were identified as part of a study of neural tube defects during that period. A literature search was conducted using MEDLINE.
During the 22-year study period, the total number of deliveries was 124,933 out of whom, 4 patients with sirenomelia, and 2 patients with severe forms of CRS were identified. All the patients with sirenomelia had single umbilical artery, and none were the infant of a diabetic mother. One patient was a twin, and another was one of triplets. The 2 patients with CRS were sisters, their mother suffered from type II diabetes mellitus and morbid obesity on insulin, and neither of them had a single umbilical artery. Other associated anomalies with sirenomelia included an absent radius, thumb, and index finger in one patient, Potter’s syndrome, abnormal ribs, microphthalmia, congenital heart disease, hypoplastic lungs, and diaphragmatic hernia.
The prevalence of sirenomelia (3.2 per 100,000) is high compared with the international prevalence of one per 100,000. Both cases of CRS were infants of type II diabetic mother with poor control, supporting the strong correlation of CRS and maternal diabetes.