VATER Syndrome

Also known as: VATER, VATER association, VACTERL association

What is VATER syndrome?

VATER syndrome refers to several birth defects that frequently occur in conjunction with one another. The letters stand for the areas of the body impacted by these defects:

  • Vertebrae
  • Anus
  • Trachea
  • Esophagus
  • Renal (or kidneys)

What causes VATER syndrome?

The cause of VATER syndrome is not entirely clear. There appears to be some genetic involvement with VATER syndrome. Women with diabetes are also at a greater risk of having babies with VATER syndrome.

What are the symptoms of VATER syndrome?

Symptoms of VATER syndrome include:

Other problems with the heart, arms or legs can also occur.

What are VATER syndrome care options?

Treatments for VATER syndrome are often multiple and varied depending on the areas of the body that are affected. They might include physical therapy, occupational therapy, medications and surgery.


Reviewed by: Stephen Graham George Jr., MD

This page was last updated on: November 22, 2019 10:50 AM