Pediatric VATER Syndrome (VACTERL Association)

VATER Syndrome (VACTERL association) describes a cluster of conditions that affect various body parts. A child is diagnosed with this condition when three or more body parts are involved.

What is Pediatric VATER Syndrome (VACTERL Association)?

VATER syndrome, also known as VACTERL association, is a term used when a child is diagnosed with birth defects in three or more body parts. The acronym stands for:

V – vertebral abnormalities
A – anal atresia (absence or closure of anus)
C – cardiac (heart defects)
T – tracheal anomalies in which the esophagus and the trachea (windpipe) don’t connect correctly
E – esophageal abnormalities 
R – renal or kidney problems and radial (thumb side of hand) problems
L – other limb abnormalities

What are the causes of Pediatric VATER Syndrome (VACTERL Association)?

VACTERL is a condition that occurs as the baby is developing in their mother’s womb and is present at birth (congenital). Researchers have identified possible genetic and environmental influences, but have not narrowed a specific cause.