Embryology of Surgical Birth Defects

  • Dietrich Kluth
  • Roman Metzger


Today, the embryology of numerous congenital anomalies in humans is still a matter of speculation. This is due to a number of reasons which include:
  • Misconceptions and/or outdated theories concerning normal and abnormal embryology.

  • A shortage of study material (both normal and abnormal embryos).

  • A shortage of explanatory images of embryos and developing embryonic organs.

  • Difficulties in the interpretation of serial sections.

In recent years, a number of animal models have been established which helped to overcome the shortage of both, normal and abnormal embryos. However, a general agreement on when, why and how abnormal development takes place, still does not exist. As a result, many typical malformations are still not explained satisfactorily and pediatric surgeons of all specialties are still confused when they are confronted with the background of normal and abnormal embryologic development.


Human birth defects Animal models Teratology Human embryology 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Laboratories of the Department of Pediatric SurgeryUniversity Hospital, University LeipzigLeipzigGermany
  2. 2.Department of Pediatric and Adolescent SurgeryParacelsus Medical University SalzburgSalzburgAustria

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