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