Outcome after vaginal delivery of women with a previous medical history of surgically corrected anorectal malformations: a systematic review

Ayla C. de Waal, Tim van Amstel, Judith J. M. L. Dekker, Johannes C. F. Ket, Caroline F. Kuijper, Concetta M. Salvatore, Justin R. de Jong, Ramon R. Gorter

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Objective: Discussion remains on how to advise women with a past medical history of surgically corrected anorectal malformations (ARMs) regarding vaginal delivery. The aim of this review is to evaluate and review the reported obstetrical complications and outcomes after vaginal delivery for these women. Data sources: A systematic search was performed from inception up to 25 July 2022 in PubMed, Embase.com and Clarivate Analytics/Web of Science Core Collection, with backward citation tracking. Study eligibility criteria/appraisal: All articles reported on the outcomes of interest in women with a past medical history of surgically corrected anorectal malformation and had a vaginal delivery were included with the exception of editorial comments or invitational commentaries. Screening, data extraction and risk of bias assessment was done by two authors independently with a third and fourth reviewer in case of disagreement. Tool for Quality assessment depended on the type of article. As low quality evidence was expected no meta-analysis was performed. Results: Only five of the 2377 articles screened were eligible for inclusion with a total of 13 attempted vaginal deliveries in eight women. In three patients complications were reported: failed vaginal delivery requiring urgent cesarean section in two patients, and vaginal tearing in one patient. Conclusion: High quality evidence regarding outcomes and complications after vaginal delivery in women with a history of surgically corrected anorectal malformation is lacking. Therefore, based upon this systematic review no formal recommendation can be formulated regarding its safety. Future studies are essential to address this problem. Trial registration: CRD42020201390. Date: 28–07-2020s.
Original languageEnglish
Article number94
JournalBMC pregnancy and childbirth
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2023


  • Anal atresia
  • Anorectal malformation
  • Cloaca
  • Delivery
  • Mode of delivery
  • Obstetrical complications
  • Systematic review
  • Vaginal delivery

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