There is a close link between the embryological development of the musculoskeletal system and all other main organ systems. We report a prospective series of 202 patients with congenital vertebral abnormalities and document the associated abnormalities in other systems. There were 100 boys and 102 girls. In 153 there were 460 associated abnormalities, a mean of 2.27 abnormalities for each patient. Intravenous pyelography was carried out on 173 patients (85.6%) and ultrasonography on the remaining 29 (14.4%). Patients with genitourinary anomalies were more likely to have musculoskeletal (p = 0.002), gastrointestinal (p = 0.02) and cardiac abnormalities (p = 0.008) than those without genitourinary involvement. A total of 54 (26.7%) had at least one genitourinary abnormality, the most frequent being unilateral renal agenesis. There was urinary obstruction in six (3%). There was no association between genitourinary abnormality and the place of birth, parental age, birth order, level of spinal curvature, or the number, type and side of spinal anomaly. There was, however, a statistically significant association (p = 0.04) between costal and genitourinary abnormalities. The incidence of genitourinary abnormalities (26.7%) was similar to that of previously reported series. The diagnosis of a congenital vertebral abnormality should alert the clinician to a wide spectrum of possible associated anomalies most of which are of clinical importance.