Year : 2003 | Volume
: 13 | Issue : 2 | Page : 145--146
Case report : Cantrell's pentalogy associated with encephalocele - a prenatal second trimester sonographic diagnosis
P Yadav, S Mukherjee, JS Sikarwar, RP Gupta
Dept. of Radiodiagnosis, GR Medical College and J.A. Group of Hospital, Gwalior-474009, India
C-27, Jawahar Colony, Kampoo, Gwalior,M.P-474009
|How to cite this article:|
Yadav P, Mukherjee S, Sikarwar J S, Gupta R P. Case report : Cantrell's pentalogy associated with encephalocele - a prenatal second trimester sonographic diagnosis.Indian J Radiol Imaging 2003;13:145-146
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Yadav P, Mukherjee S, Sikarwar J S, Gupta R P. Case report : Cantrell's pentalogy associated with encephalocele - a prenatal second trimester sonographic diagnosis. Indian J Radiol Imaging [serial online] 2003 [cited 2019 Oct 17 ];13:145-146
Available from: http://www.ijri.org/text.asp?2003/13/2/145/28647
We report a case of pentalogy of Cantrell associated with encephalocele diagnosed prenatally in the second trimester.This congenital disorder described by Cantrell is characterized by two major defects: ectopia cordis and an anterior abdominal wall defect associated with disruption of three interposing structures: the distal sternum, anterior diaphragm, and diaphragmatic pericardium.There are variants of the classic form as well as many associated anomalies.
A 25 year old multigravida, married for six years with six months amenorrhea presented for routine prenatal ultrasound and estimation of gestational age. She had no history of bleeding, pain or any other complaints.Her obstetric history consists of two first trimester pregnancy losses of unknown etiology. The patient denied significant medical problems, as well as any known history of cardiac or other congenital anomalies in her family. She reported taking no medications.No contributing history of any kind was found.
On transabdominal sonography using a Wipro GE Pro 400 Series scanner with a 3.5 MHz microconvex probe, we found a single live fetus with measurements corresponding to 22 weeks gestational age. The placenta and amniotic fluid were grossly normal.An unusual finding was noted in the thoraco-abdominal region of the fetus.An anterior thoraco-abdominal wall defect was seen with the contents herniating in to the amniotic cavity covered by a thin sac.The sac contained liver and spleen along with few loops of intestine [Figure 1]. Umbilical cord was attached to the tip of the omphalocele and demonstrated two vessels (one artery and one vein).Doppler studies showed a high resistance flow. The heart was seen to lie separately. The heart was four chambered and appeared normal along with the great vessels.No pleural or pericardial effusion was seen.The fetal kidneys were normally visualized.No fetal ascites was seen. All the extremities appeared normal
An encephalocele was found in the fetal head which presented with diagnostic difficulties [Figure 2].The initial appearance of the encephalocele was like that of multiple loops of gut lying outside what seemed like the abdominal cavity.Only after very careful real time scanning could we delineate the gross brain anatomy and thus could confirm the herniated mass to be brain matter and the entity to be an encephalocele.There was no hydrocephalus.No facial anomalies were seen.
As discussed above, the unique association of omphalocele and ectopia cordis is the hallmark of this anomaly. Along with these two major defects are other consequential abnormalities of the structures interposed between the heart and omphalocele (i.e., defects of the lower sternum, anterior diaphragm, and diaphragmatic pericardium) plus intracardiac anomalies.There is equal prevalence among both sexes. 
This defect is believed to result from defective lateral mesoderm folds that form between 28 to 32 menstrual days.The transverse septum that gives rise to the diaphragm does not form and venteromedial migration of the paired upper abdominal mesodermal folds fails to occur, resulting in failure of ventral wall closure and incomplete external primordial band fusion.
The most frequented anomalies are omphalocele, cardiovascular, and craniofacial anomalies. Among the associated cardiac anomalies are atrial septal defects (50%), ventricular septal defects (20%), and tetralogy of Fallot (10%). Other anomalies include ascites, two-vessel cord, clinodactyly, vertebral anomalies, kyphoscoliosis, low-set ears, micropthalmia, cleft lip, clubfeet, malrotation of colon, hydrocephalus, anencephaly along with other chromosomal abnormalities(particularly trisomy 13 and 18. This complex combination of anomalies has been seen in monozygotic twins. ,,
The defect of the abdominal wall can range from simple diastasis to huge omphaloceles with bowel,liver, and heart in the defect covered by a translucent membrane. The omphaloceles associated with this syndrome are usually located in a more cephalad position.The ectopic heart may either simply bulge out of the chest or be entirely out of the chest.Pleural or pericardial effusion may be seen.The diagnosis has been made as early as 17 weeks,but in some cases complicated by oligohydramnios,these cases may be missed entirely.Because of this bizarre clinical presentation,some cases may be mistaken for amniotic band syndrome(ABS).,
The differentiation of Cantrell's pentalogy form other abdominal wall defects is extremely important.The differential diagnosis includes isolated thoracic ectopia cordis,amniotic band syndrome and body stalk anomalies.The key features for distinguishing these conditions is the position of abdominal wall defect in relation to the umbilical cord insertion,eviscerated organs,the presence or absence of membranes or bands,and associated anomalies.Omphalocele in Cantrell's pentalogy usually involves a midline defect at the umbilical cord insertion.An eccentric large lateral defect and adherence of the placenta to the defect are typically present in body stalk anomalies.The presence of an unexplained ventral wall defect along with extremity deformity with an adherent band suggests amniotic band syndrome. ,
Management includes a complete workup including karyotype and complete ultrasonographic search for other anomalies performed.Termination of pregnancy can be offered before viability.After viability ,periodic ultrasonographic evaluations of the lesions,fetal growth and delivery in a tertiary centre is recommended.Cesarean section delivery does not nessecarily improve the prognosis.
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