4 Interesting Facts of Gastroschisis

  1. Full thickness abdominal wall defect usually is located to the right of the umbilicus beside normally inserted umbilical vessels
    • Variable amounts of intestine and occasionally other abdominal organs may be herniated through the abdominal wall defect; no membrane or sac covers the herniated abdominal contents
  2. Ruptured omphalocele (lacking covering membrane) may be difficult to clinically differentiate from gastroschisis
  3. Differences between gastroschisis and omphalocele often include the following:
    • Gastroschisis is located lateral to the umbilicus and omphalocele is a midline defect
    • Gastroschisis defects are often smaller in diameter (usually 2-3 cm) than omphaloceles (usually larger than 5 cm) 
    • Bowel appearance is less matted, edematous, and exudative in neonates with ruptured omphalocele (unless rupture occurs early in pregnancy and bowel has been directly exposed to amniotic fluid for a lengthy period of time)
    • Gastroschisis is often an isolated abnormality, although a small percentage is complicated by additional gastrointestinal abnormalities (eg, atresia, necrosis); omphalocele often presents with other associated major physical and/or chromosomal abnormalities
    • Prolonged ileus is less common in patients with omphalocele and common in patients with gastroschisis
    • Overall mortality for neonates born with gastroschisis is considerably lower than omphalocele
  4. Differentiate based on clinical findings

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