Saturday, November 29, 2008

Pentalogy of Cantrell

Four-year-old Zhang Weiyuan of China has a condition called pentalogy of Cantrell in which the heart protrudes from the body. Zhang is shown here at Shengjing Hospital in Shenyang, in northeast China's Liaoning province Nov. 21. Doctors usually try surgery to correct the exceedingly rare condition, which leaves the heart vulnerable to injury if untreated.(Li Shuangqi/AP Photo)

Pentalogy of Cantrell is a rare syndrome that causes defects involving the diaphragm, abdominal wall, pericardium, heart and lower sternum. The syndrome has five characteristic findings: Omphalocele; Anterior diaphragmatic hernia; Sternal cleft; Ectopia cordis; Intracardiac defect: either a ventricular septal defect or a diverticulum of the left ventricle.

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