Folia Medica 63(2): 272-276, doi: 10.3897/folmed.63.e52900
Mermaid syndrome associated with VACTERL-H syndrome
expand article infoTanya T. Kitova, Ekaterina H. Uchikova§, Peter A. Uchikov, Borislav D. Kitov
‡ Medical University of Plovdiv, Plovdiv, Bulgaria§ St George University Hospital, Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Open Access

Mermaid syndrome or sirenomelia is an extremely rare congenital malformation with an incidence between 1.5 and 4.2 per 1,000,000 pregnancies. Association of mermaid syndrome with VACTERL-H syndrome is extremely rare, with only two cases reported so far in the literature. We present a new case of type I sirenomelia associated with VACTERL-H syndrome and review the relevant literature. 

A 15-year-old female patient was admitted to the Department of Pathological Pregnancy at St George University Hospital, Plovdiv with progredient abortion during her first pregnancy. She had low socioeconomic status, negative history of concomitant diseases and addictions. The patient avoided prophylactic intake of folic acid during her pregnancy. Prenatal ultrasound found a malformative fetus. Consequently, magnetic resonance imaging was performed which established the presence of hydrocephalus and defects in the lower part of the spine. These pathological findings indicated interruption of pregnancy at 20 weeks of gestation. The fetopathological examination found sirenomelia type I associated with myelomeningocele, hydrocephalus, anal imperforation, single umbilical artery, bilateral renal and ureteric agenesis, bladder agenesis, tracheo-esophageal fistula, agenesis of external genitals, monkey fold of the left palm of the hand, also known as VACTERL-H syndrome.

Our case demonstrates that mermaid syndrome and VACTERL-H syndrome represent different manifestations of a single pathological process that results in disorders of the blastogenesis at different stages during embryonic development. 

mermaid syndrome, pregnancy, sirenomelia, VACTERL-H syndrome