congenital malformations and deformations

Last reviewed 01/2018

A congenital malformation is an error in the normal development of an organ or a tissue that is present from birth.

Congenital malformations may be single or multiple and may be of major or minor clinical significance. About 14% of neonates have a single minor malformation, 3% a single major malformation and 0.7% have multiple major malformations.

A secondary malformation is a defect resulting from the disruption of a previously normal tissue or organ, and a deformation is an alteration in shape caused by unusual mechanical forces. Both may occur together, and there is an increased risk of deformation in the presence of a major congenital malformation.