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  • 1
    Keywords: FOLLOW-UP ; DISEASE ; ADOLESCENTS
    Abstract: BACKGROUND: In order to prevent stricture of the neoanus after surgical correction, regular dilatation is recommended. There is a lack of knowledge about the performance of anal dilatation and the occurrence of pain. The aim of our investigation was to describe the practice of dilatation and to identify possible risk factors for painful procedures. METHODS: Congenital Uro-Rectal Malformations Network is a German interdisciplinary multicenter research network. With standard questionnaires, physicians interviewed 243 patients and/or their parents at home, additional 103 patients born since 2009 were assessed through their treating physicians. RESULTS: In total, 88 % of the patients received dilatations. Treatment lasted for 7 months in median (range 1-156 months), until the age of 13 months (range 1-171 months). In 69 % painful dilatation was reported; without a significant differences in age or gender. In 32 % bleeding was reported. In 30 % at least one dilatation was performed under general anesthesia. In 11 % some kind of analgesia was used. Type of fistula, dilatations lasting longer than 10 months and Hegar size above 15 were relevant factors for experience of pain. There were about 16 % postoperative strictures of the neoanus, without reported differences in dilatation procedures; but there was a relation to type of malformation. CONCLUSION: Considering the high number of painful treatments, predictors for painful dilatations should be further clarified through standardized documentation and prospective evaluation in order to improve follow-up.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 23001134
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  • 2
    Keywords: GENE ; IDENTIFICATION ; etiology ; DEFICIENCY ; ANORECTAL-MALFORMATIONS ; VACTERL-ASSOCIATION ; VATER ASSOCIATION ; GONADOTROPIN-RELEASING-HORMONE ; TESTICULAR DESCENT ; HETEROTAXY
    Abstract: Background: The acronym VATER/VACTERL association describes the combination of at least three of the following cardinal features: vertebral defects, anorectal malformations, cardiac defects, tracheoesophageal fistula with or without esophageal atresia, renal malformations, and limb defects. Although fibroblast growth factor-8 (FGF8) mutations have mainly found in patients with Kallmann syndrome, mice with a hypomorphic Fgf8 allele or complete gene invalidation display, aside from gonadotropin-releasing hormone deficiency, parts or even the entire spectrum of human VATER/VACTERL association. Methods: We performed FGF8 gene analysis in 49 patients with VATER/VACTERL association and 27 patients presenting with a VATER/VACTERL-like phenotype (two cardinal features). Results: We identified two heterozygous FGF8 mutations in patients displaying either VATER/VACTERL association (p.Gly29_Arg34dup) or a VATER/VACTERL-like phenotype (p.Pro26Leu) without limb anomalies. Whereas the duplication mutation has not been reported before, p.Pro26Leu was once observed in a Kallmann syndrome patient. Both our patients had additional bilateral cryptorchidism, a key phenotypic feature in males with FGF8 associated Kallmann syndrome. Each mutation was paternally inherited. Besides delayed puberty in both and additional unilateral cryptorchidism in one of the fathers, they were otherwise healthy. Serum hormone levels downstream the gonadotropin-releasing hormone in both patients and their fathers were within normal range. Conclusion: Our results suggest FGF8 mutations to contribute to the formation of the VATER/VACTERL association. Further studies are needed to support this observation.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 25131394
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  • 3
    Keywords: OUTCOMES ; ANOMALIES ; RECONSTRUCTION ; CHILDHOOD ; TERM-FOLLOW-UP ; ADOLESCENCE ; FERTILITY ; EPISPADIAS COMPLEX ; SOCIAL INTEGRATION ; PATIENTS BORN
    Abstract: BACKGROUND: The bladder exstrophy-epispadias complex (BEEC) comprises a spectrum of congenital anomalies that represents the severe end of urorectal malformations, and has a profound impact on continence as well as sexual and renal functions. OBJECTIVE: The relation between severity of BEEC and its associated functional impairments, on one hand, and the resulting restrictions in quality of life and potential psychopathology determine the patients' outcome. It is important for improving further outcome to identify BEEC-related sources of distress in the long term. Genital function and sexuality becomes an important issue for adolescent and adult BEEC individuals. Hence, the present study focused on sexual function and psychological adaption in patients with BEEC. STUDY DESIGN: In a multicenter study 52 patients (13 females, 39 males) with classic bladder exstrophy (BE) with their bladders in use were assessed by a self-developed questionnaire about sexual function, and psychosexual and psychosocial outcome. The patients were born between 1948 and 1994 (median age 31 years). RESULTS: Twelve of 13 (92%) females and 25 of 39 (64%) males with classic BE had answered the questions on sexual function. Of these, 50% females and 92% males answered that they masturbated. Females had sexual intercourse more frequently. Six (50%) females affirmed dyspareunia whereas only two (8%) males reported pain during erection. Eight (67%) females specified having orgasms. Eighteen (72%) males were able to ejaculate. Two males and none of the females lived in a committed partnership (Figure). Two (15%) females and 13 (33%) males answered all psychosocial questions. The majority of these patients had concerns about satisfactory sexuality and lasting, happy partnerships. A minority of patients of both sexes were willing to answer psychosocial questions. Sexual activity and relationships of many adult BE patients seems to be impaired. Not surprisingly, sexual activity and awareness were different in males and females even in a multi-organ anomaly. DISCUSSION: To date, one of the main goals of the medical treatment of BEEC/BE patients is to enable normal sexual life and fertility. However, only a few outcome studies have focused on these issues with contradicting results, most of them not using standardized outcome measures. In accordance with other studies, our female BE patients have dyspareunia and most of our male BE patients were able to ejaculate. But the question of normal force of ejaculation, ejaculated volume, or semen analysis remains unanswered. Despite partial confirmation of previous findings, there is inconsistency referring to the outcome measured by the available studies. This might in part be explained by the fact that, other than this study, most previous studies are the result of single-institution experience. Thus, selection bias in the patient sampling due to different a clinical collective in different hospitals may be the consequence. Furthermore, patients' honesty and self-reflection in answering difficult questions regarding their sexual and cosmetic impairments is questionable. In addition, studies include a wide range of age groups and are connected with this life period. Fears and condition-specific anxieties might change over time. Hence, the strengths of this study are the nationwide and treating physician-independent data acquisition as well as the large sample size of adult patients with a very rare congenital malformation. Unfortunately, more detailed analyses on sexual function and current psychosocial situation, for example correlation of data with clinical symptoms such as continence status, was not possible as data were mainly not answered by patients. CONCLUSION: To improve the quality of life of patients with BEEC/BE, treatment and follow-up should emphasize physical but also psychological care in these patients. Physicians should further re-evaluate their preconceptions and should take care of the patients
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 25986209
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  • 4
    Keywords: ANORECTAL-MALFORMATIONS ; MULTIDISCIPLINARY BEHAVIORAL TREATMENT
    Abstract: BACKGROUND: Pediatric surgeons and patient organisations agree that fewer centers for anorectal malformations with larger patient numbers are essential to reach better treatment. The European Union transacts a political process which aims to realize such centers of expertise for a multitude of rare diseases. All the centers on a specific rare disease should constitute an ERN on that disease. ARM-Net members in different countries report on first experiences with the implementation of national directives, identifying opportunities and risks of this process. METHODS: Relevant details from the official European legislation were analyzed. A survey among the pediatric surgeons of the multidisciplinary ARM-Net consortium about national implementation was conducted. RESULTS: European legislation calls for multidisciplinary centers treating children with rare diseases, and proposes a multitude of quality criteria. The member states are called to allocate sufficient funding and to execute robust governance and oversight, applying clear methods for evaluation. Participation of the patient organisations is mandatory. The national implementations all over Europe differ a lot in respect of extent and timeframe. CONCLUSIONS: Establishing Centers of Expertise and a ERN for anorectal malformations offers great opportunities for patient care and research. Pediatric surgeons should be actively engaged in this process.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 26210660
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  • 5
    Abstract: Anorectal malformations (ARM) have a low prevalence, patients need specialized surgical care, and in many cases, patients born with ARM even need life-long aftercare. Due to its low prevalence most patients are still treated in low-volume pediatric surgical centers without any adequate monitoring of the outcome. Data on prevalence, comparison of different surgical techniques, and prospective outcome measurements are still scarce and difficult to interpret. In 2010, a consortium was founded (ARM-Net consortium) including several European pediatric surgical centers to collaborate more in research and share knowledge on ARM. One of the structures started by the consortium was an ARM-Net registry for the inclusion of all future patients treated in these centers. With this review, we report the structure of the ARM-Net registry, some of the results, and discuss the challenges we faced and still face after its introduction in 2010.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 26642384
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  • 6
    Abstract: The purpose of our study was to investigate the importance of amniotic fluid (AF) for fetal growth during late gestation using esophageal atresia (EA) patients as a model. In this retrospective cohort study, we compared the z-scores adapted for birth weights (BW z-scores) for each of 517 European newborns with congenital pre-gastric intestinal atresia, i.e., EA, to a European reference population. To account for the influence of the intestinal atresia on fetal growth per se, we compared adapted birth weights for each of 504 European newborns with post colonic intestinal atresia (anorectal malformation (ARM) with atresia of the anus) to the same European reference population. Analysis of the complete cohort showed (i) a significantly higher rate of small for gestational age newborns among EA compared to ARM newborns (p 〈 0.001) and (ii) significantly lower BW z-scores among EA compared to ARM newborns (p 〈 0.001). BW z-scores of EA newborns were significantly lower in term compared to preterm newborns with an inverse correlation with gestational age (GA) (Spearman correlation coefficient, r = -0.185, p 〈 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Enteral uptake of AF seems to play a pivotal role in fetal growth during late gestation. WHAT IS KNOWN: * Peak velocity of fetal weight gain occurs at 33 weeks of gestation and continues until birth. During this period, fetal growth is mainly characterized by cellular hypertrophy. * Amniotic fluid (AF) comprises large amounts of hormones and growth regulators. What is New: * A significantly higher rate of small for gestational age and lower birth weights and z-scores are observed among newborn infants with congenital pre-gastric intestinal atresia. * These findings suggest that enteral uptake of AF is a major predictor for fetal growth during late gestation.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 26979529
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  • 7
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    German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; Düsseldorf
    In:  130. Kongress der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Chirurgie; 20130430-20130503; München; DOC13dgch446 /20130426/
    Publication Date: 2013-04-27
    Keywords: ddc: 610
    Language: German
    Type: conferenceObject
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  • 8
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    German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; Düsseldorf
    In:  130. Kongress der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Chirurgie; 20130430-20130503; München; DOC13dgch447 /20130426/
    Publication Date: 2013-04-27
    Keywords: ddc: 610
    Language: German
    Type: conferenceObject
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  • 9
    Keywords: DISEASE ; CARE ; QUALITY-OF-LIFE
    Abstract: PURPOSE: The aim of the German Network for Congenital Uro-REctal malformations (CURE-Net) is to collect data of affected patients with anorectal malformation (ARM) to investigate molecular causes, clinical implications and psychosocial outcome. The current issue was to examine the transition to adulthood in adults with ARM and to explore condition-related needs and skills required. METHODS: This qualitative study is part of a larger multi-center study of clinical queries and quality of life in patients with ARM. The guided interview focused on the analysis of medical data and personal questionnaires. RESULTS: Interviews were completed with 55 (23 females, 32 males) participants, age ranging from 18 to 56 years. Twenty-one patients suffered from mucosal prolapse, 18 patients had had megasigmoid/megacolon. Relevant stenosis of the neo-anus occurred in 13 (42 %) males and 4 (18 %) females, permanent neurogenic bladder dysfunction in 10 (32 %) males and 4 (18 %) females, recurrent urinary tract infections in 10 (32 %) males and 13 (59 %) females, latex allergy in 10 (32 %) males and 7 (32 %) females. Thirty-seven (70 %) patients had to be reoperated. Forty-one (75 %) patients needed means of aftercare to achieve social continence. CONCLUSION: The study wants to contribute to a better understanding of the challenges of transition for adults with ARM.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 22772590
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  • 10
    Keywords: OUTCOMES ; CHILDREN ; QUALITY-OF-LIFE ; IMPERFORATE ANUS ; POSTERIOR SAGITTAL ANORECTOPLASTY ; BOWEL MANAGEMENT ; SACRAL RATIO ; MALFORMATIONS
    Abstract: PURPOSE: To determine the anorectal function in patients with anorectal malformations (ARM) in order to facilitate patient counseling and follow-up. METHODS: Data were collected by the German network for urorectal malformations (CURE-Net) according to the International Krickenbeck consensus. Questionnaires on bowel function and a defecation protocol were completed by the families/patients. The clinical findings were assessed from the patients' clinical records. RESULTS: Two hundred and ninety-seven patients with ARM were assessed, 175 patients gave complete data on continence, 52 of them were excluded due to mental retardation, age, and earlier type of pullthrough. Complete continence was found in 27 %, perineal fistula in 40 %, rectourethral/vesical in 10 %, vestibular in 24 %, cloaca in 0 %. Krickenbeck grade 1 soiling: 42 %, grade 2 and 3: 31 %. Forty-nine percent of the incontinent patients practiced bowel management, reaching continence in 19 %. The statement of constipation (67 %) was validated with the last clinical findings, showing coprostasis in 46 %, "Not suffering constipation" was confirmed in 61 % and falsified in 29 %. CONCLUSION: ARM patients in Germany, as assessed by independent researchers, show a high rate of fecal incontinence and insufficiently treated constipation. Parents should be counseled accordingly and motivated to engage in consequent follow-up. Intensified efforts in the conservative treatment of constipation and fecal incontinence are crucial to improvement.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 22821084
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