Management of the Infant With Gastroschisis: A Comprehensive Review of the Literature

Tracey Williams, MSN, RN, NNP, Rachel Butler, MSN, RN, NNP, Tara Sundem, MSN, RN, NNP


NAINR. 2003;3(2) 

In This Article

Differential Diagnoses

With advancements in prenatal testing and ultrasonography, abdominal wall defects are commonly diagnosed in utero as early as 12 to 14 weeks gestation. The differential diagnosis of abdominal wall defects includes gastroschisis and omphalocele. Gastroschisis is a defect in the abdominal wall lateral to the umbilical cord, whereas omphalocele is a defect in which the intestines are enclosed within the umbilical cord. It may be difficult to distinguish between the two diagnoses if the protective sac of the omphalocele has been ruptured.[3,19] It is important to remember that gastroschisis defects do not involve the umbilical cord. It is also essential to distinguish between the two defects because there is a higher incidence of major congenital/chromosomal anomalies associated with omphalocele.[7] The incidence of chromosomal anomalies associated with gastroschisis is less than 5%.[4]


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