• Forty-one infants treated for abdominal wall defects were studied retrospectively. Using established anatomic criteria the infants were identified as having either an omphalocele or gastroschisis. They were compared for maternal and infant characteristics to determine if distinct perinatal characteristics exist between the two groups. Gastroschisis patients had lower mean maternal age, were more likely to be first born, and to be of lower birth weight. Major malformations apart from those associated with the gastrointestinal tract and the anterior abdominal wall occurred 12 times more often in omphalocele patients. Ventral defects warrant a careful anatomical and clinical differentiation, and in the case of omphalocele, a thorough search for other anomalies.
(Am J Dis Child 131:1386-1388, 1977)