Congenital absence of the vagina. The Mayer-Rokitansky-Kuster-Hauser syndrome

Ann Intern Med. 1976 Aug;85(2):224-36. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-85-2-224.


We describe 14 patients with congenital absence of the vagina associated with a variable abnormality of the uterus and review the literature. Associated developmental anomalies of the urinary tract and skeleton are common. As a result of the analysis of two affected families, we believe that the disorder may represent the variable manifestation of a single underlying genetic defect that can be expressed alone or in any combination of vertebral, renal, and genital abnormalities. Some affected persons may have lethal manifestations such as absence of both kidneys, and some cases may result from multifactoral causes rather than a single gene defect. Whatever the cause, the defect involves mesodermal development and the mesonephric kidney, the latter resulting in abnormalities in the paramesonephros (uterus and vagina) and in the metanephric kidney. Both nonoperative and surgical treatments are generally successful in repairing the vaginal abnormality.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Bone and Bones / abnormalities
  • Congenital Abnormalities / diagnosis
  • Congenital Abnormalities / genetics
  • Congenital Abnormalities / therapy
  • Female
  • Genitalia, Female / abnormalities*
  • Humans
  • Kidney / abnormalities
  • Ovary / physiopathology
  • Syndrome
  • Uterus / abnormalities
  • Vagina / abnormalities*