Case of rare congenital anomaly in 19-year-old’s first born
Mermaid syndrome, also known as sirenomelia is an extremely rare anomaly with an incidence of 1 in 100,000 births. In this condition the legs of newborns are joined together, with a mermaid-like appearance, hence the name. Mermaid syndrome has a high morbidity rate with deaths reported shortly after birth. This article describes the case of a 19-year-old’s first neonate born with mermaid syndrome.
The mother’s medical history was significant for gestational diabetes mellitus. The infant was born with thumb anomalies, a single lower limb and ambiguous genitalia. A single umbilical artery, gastrointestinal and urogenital anomalies are common outcomes of this syndrome. Although the cause of the condition is still unknown, there are certain factors, for example, age of the mother younger than 20 years and older than 40 years and exposure of the fetus to teratogenics that increase the risk of mermaid syndrome.
Mermaid syndrome, an evolutionary defect in the caudal region
The rare congenital anomaly causes an evolutionary defect in the caudal region, near the tail or posterior part of the body, with complete absence of the lower limb and varying degree of leg adhesion. The earliest evidence of the syndrome dates back to the 16th century. And since then, only 300 patients have been reported of the rare anomaly. The syndrome is more prevalent in males compared to females, with a ratio of 3:1. Whereas in monozygotic twins the incidence is seen to be 150 to 200 times. It is also 200 times more likely to be seen in newborns with diabetic mothers, as in this case. 15 percent of the mother who gave birth to neonates with mermaid syndrome had gestational diabetes mellitus during pregnancy.
The neonate dies 4 days after birth, owing to the multiple anomalies and perforated anus.
As stated above, although, researchers don’t exactly know what causes the syndrome, there are multiple contributing factors which may vary among different people. It may be because of a genetic predisposition, environmental triggers or vulnerability to the condition. Researchers also believe that in some cases of mermaid syndrome, something has gone wrong in the development of the circulatory system.
Mermaid Syndrome: A Case Report of a Rare Congenital Anomaly in Full-Term Neonate with Thumb Deformity https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6235678/