What is Congenital Anomaly?

Meaning and Definition of Congenital Anomaly

At birth, the baby may be healthy or may have a congenital abnormality , which may be anchored to a genetic problem or may be induced by the use of harmful substances during pregnancy or caused by a lack of amniotic fluid.

Many terms are generally known, such as:

  • Malformation
  • Disturbance
  • Deformation
  • Dysplasia.

Regardless of any of these terms, the result of our thoughts is the same: they do not correspond to something good.

Research on a global scale reveals that the leading indication of infant mortality can be attributed to at least one of these terms. So, to better understand these terms, the following is a description of each:


If an organ has a change in its morphological structure (in part or in its entirety), we have a morphological defect. If it is shown that this defect was caused by a chromosomal abnormality , it can be said to be a morphogenetic alteration. This can be inherited.


If a baby is born with a morphological defect caused by external interference, such as teratogens (drugs or viruses, for example), it will be classified as a disorder . This factor is not hereditary, but hereditary factors can predispose you to a disorder.


This occurs thanks to mechanical forces, which cause an abnormal shape or appearance of a given portion of the body. One example is ” clubfoot ,” which is caused by a lack of amniotic fluid, resulting in a baby’s clubfoot. This change is caused by external mechanical forces.


It is the altered formation of a given tissue, where the cells will organize themselves in an unusual and unexpected way, considering the patterns. There is no specific cause for the appearance of dysplasia .


For so many terms and so many changes, there is currently a branch of science dedicated to studying in detail the causes of each event that occurred: teratology . Some of these abnormalities can be detected before birth, but others only after they are almost unnoticeable.

Although the causes are almost always genetic or environmental factors , separately, what can be called multifactorial inheritance (the combination and action of the two factors) can still happen.

Causes of the Congenital Anomaly

It can be concluded that most of the causes are still unknown, but the perseverance of multifactorial inheritance is relevant.

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