The natural history of sacrococcygeal teratomas diagnosed through routine obstetric sonogram: a single institution experience

J Pediatr Surg. 1998 Jun;33(6):899-903. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3468(98)90670-4.


Background/purpose: The antenatal diagnosis of sacrococcygeal teratoma (SCT) is increasingly being made with fetal sonography. However, the natural history of SCT detected on routine obstetric sonogram is not well defined.

Methods: A retrospective chart review of 21 fetal SCT diagnosed on routine sonography at Hospital Sainte-Justine between 1980 and 1997 were performed. The patients' clinical and sonographic characteristics, prenatal, and perinatal outcomes were examined. Prognostic criteria were identified by correlating patients' characteristics with outcome.

Results: In utero mortality rate was 19% and perinatal mortality rate was 14%. The incidence of premature labor was 50%. Of the various criteria examined as an independent variable, the presence of a solid tumor was found to be a important negative prognostic factor with a 67% incidence of death in utero and an overall mortality rate of 100%. Patients with new onset polyhydramnios were at significant risks for premature labor (100%). All of the perinatal deaths were attributable to tumor rupture.

Conclusions: The course of sacrococcygeal teratoma diagnosed on routine sonograms is associated with a higher-than-expected incidence of prenatal and perinatal complications. Close antenatal follow-up for new onset polyhydramnios and the presence of a completely solid tumor will help optimize patient counseling and treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Fetal Diseases* / diagnostic imaging
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome*
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sacrococcygeal Region
  • Teratoma* / diagnostic imaging
  • Ultrasonography, Prenatal*