Pentalogy of cantrell: A report of three cases

  • O.A Sowande
  • L.J.C Anyanwu
  • A.O Talabi
  • O.R Babalola
  • O Adejuyigbe


Pentalogy of Cantrell is a rare upper midline syndrome that may present in association with anomalies outside the torso. The pentad - the supraumbilical body wall defect, sternal defect, deficiency of the anterior diaphragm, defect of the diaphragmatic pericardium, and the intracardiac anomalies - was first described by Cantrell et al., in 1958. The defect is said to be more common in males, and survival is dependent on the cardiac malformations and on the degree of completeness of the syndrome. We report three cases of Cantrell's pentalogy managed in our unit. Two of the patients were females and one a male. All were seen at peripheral health centers before being referred to us. Age at presentation for the girls was 18 hours and 36 hours, respectively, the boy presented at the age of six weeks. All of their parents were unschooled manual workers. All patients presented with a defect in the supraumbilical body wall, bifid sternum, and a visible cardiac impulse. We were unable to do echocardiography to rule out intracardiac anomalies in the three patients. The thin membranous covering of the epigastrium in the female patients was managed conservatively. Both female patients were discharged against medical advice as requested by their parents, due to financial constraints. The male patient was lost to follow up after two clinic visits. A multidisciplinary approach to the management of this syndrome is recommended.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2006-8808
print ISSN: 2006-8808