Limb Body Wall

Limb body wall complex (LBWC) is a rare fetal malformation of unknown origins.

Traditionally diagnosis has been based on the Van Allen et al., criteria, i.e. the presence of two out of three of the following anomalies:[1]

  1. Exencephaly or encephalocele with facial clefts
  2. Thoraco and or abdominoschisis and
  3. Limb defects.

LBWC occurs in approximately 0.32 in 100,000 births.[1]

At this time, there is no known cause of Limb Body Wall Complex. However, there have been tentative links made between a diagnosis of LBWC and cocaine use.[2] In addition, current research has shown that there may be a genetic cause for a small limited number of LBWC cases.[3]

Limb Body Wall Complex is a lethal birth defect. There are only anecdotal stories of survivors.[4]


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