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Differentiating presacral masses in anorectal malformations and isolated sacrococcygeal teratomas

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Presacral masses associated with anorectal malformations (ARM) are most frequently dermoid or teratomas. Sacrococcygeal teratoma (SCT), in isolation, is a different condition. There are limited data comparing the two. The aim of this study was to compare presacral masses associated with ARM and isolated SCTs.


A retrospective review was performed from 1979 to 2018. Patients with presacral masses and associated ARM (n = 39) were identified and compared to patients with isolated SCTs (n = 32).


Those with presacral mass and ARM had a lower proportion of immature and mixed teratomas by pathology and a longer time to mass resection. They had higher percentages of sacral anomalies (76% versus 9%), tethered cord (50% versus 6%), and other anomalies (51% versus 9%). For long-term bowel function, patients with presacral mass and ARM were more likely to be fecally incontinent and require enemas (59% versus 11%). Regarding isolated SCTs, 4% recurred with a time to recurrence of 7 months.


Compared to patients with isolated SCT, patients with presacral mass and ARM had lower grade tumors. In addition, they had a higher proportion of sacral defects and other congenital defects, as well as worse bowel function outcomes.

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Correspondence to Andrea Bischoff.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee (include name of committee + reference number) and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Dewberry, L., Peña, A., Meyers, M.L. et al. Differentiating presacral masses in anorectal malformations and isolated sacrococcygeal teratomas. Pediatr Surg Int 35, 979–983 (2019).

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