Congenital anomalies associated with rhabdomyosarcoma: an autopsy study of 115 cases. A report from the Intergroup Rhabdomyosarcoma Study Committee (representing the Children's Cancer Study Group, the Pediatric Oncology Group, the United Kingdom Children's Cancer Study Group, and the Pediatric Intergroup Statistical Center)

Med Pediatr Oncol. 1988;16(1):33-9. doi: 10.1002/mpo.2950160109.


Congenital anomalies were identified in 37 of 115 (32%) children and adolescents autopsied with rhabdomyosarcoma. An analysis of sex, age, site, and histology of cases with or without congenital anomalies showed no significant differences. Of the 45 identified anomalies, 14 were considered major and 31 minor. The distribution of the anomalies by system included central nervous (9), genitourinary (10), gastrointestinal (13), and cardiovascular systems (4). Ten patients had complex or miscellaneous anomalies. There was one child with each of the following: Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome, neurofibromatosis, single horseshoe kidney, hemihypertrophy, and Arnold-Chiari malformation. Aniridia was not noted in any case of rhabdomyosarcoma. Individuals with rhabdomyosarcoma have an increased incidence of genitourinary anomalies similar to that in Wilms' tumor. Recent molecular genetic investigations have suggested that rhabdomyosarcoma, Wilms' tumor, and hepatoblastoma share a common pathogenetic mechanism involving chromosome 11. The uniquely increased association of central nervous system anomalies with rhabdomyosarcoma and absence of aniridia would support a different gene locus operative on chromosome 11 for individuals with rhabdomyosarcoma compared to Wilms' tumor. Extensive epidemiologic studies now in progress in patients with rhabdomyosarcoma should provide the incidence of congenital anomalies and potential linkage with prenatal events.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Abnormalities
  • Central Nervous System / abnormalities
  • Congenital Abnormalities / complications*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma / complications*
  • Urogenital Abnormalities