umbilical fistulae

Last reviewed 01/2018

Umbilical fistulae can occur when there is a failure of closure of the structures passing through the umbilicus.

Four structures pass through the umbilicus during fetal development: the umbilical vein, the umbilical arteries, the vitelline duct and the urachus.

It is failure to close properly of either of the last two that results in an intestinal or urinary fistula.