Adults with VATER association: Long-term prognosis

Patricia G. Wheeler, David D. Weaver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations


VATER "association" is a common condition, with the diagnosis typically based on a characteristic constellation of congenital anomalies. Reported long-term follow-up information on VATER association is limited, thus making it difficult to prognosticate the future of infants and children with this condition. Further, there are few data on how often the initial diagnosis of VATER association is correct. Some information has been published on growth deficiency and mental retardation, but these data are minimal [Bull et al., 1985; Mapstone et al., 1986; Weaver et al., 1986] and for the most part look at children under the age of 10 years. We have undertaken a long-term follow-up of individuals with VATER association originally reported by Weaver et al. [1986] or diagnosed with VATER association by his associates and him after 1986. Out of the 50 patients, we were able to contact 20 individuals or families. Two of the 20 individuals had died: 1 at 3 days with cardiac failure due to a truncus arteriosus, and 1 at 4 years of unspecified cause. Two were unwilling to participate. Of the rest, we interviewed and examined seven persons, and interviewed another nine by telephone. Of the 16, 5 had some degree of cognitive impairment. These individuals were more likely to have congenital anomalies outside of the typical scope of VATER association, such as prune belly sequence or findings of CHARGE association. Of the nine individuals with a history of imperforate anus, five had partial or complete incontinence as adults leading to difficulties in maintaining employment. Height was at the 5th centile or less in 6 of 16 patients. Three of four patients who were trying to have children, had infertility. In two women, the infertility was thought to be related to congenital anomalies of the genitourinary system and multiple pelvic operations. We also present the long-term medical and neurologic problems in these individuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)212-217
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Medical Genetics
Volume138 A
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 15 2005


  • Imperforate anus
  • Long-term follow-up
  • VATER association

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics(clinical)

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