VACTERLS is an acronym used to describe categories of specific physical problems that occur together. You need anomalies
in three of the categories to be considered as having the association.
V - Vertebrae problem(s). For example, abnormally formed vertebrae, hemivertebrae, extra ribs, or sacral abnormalities.
A - Anal Anomalies and sometimes rectum problem(s). For example, there is no opening where the anus
should be, called an imperforate anus; or fistulas between the rectum and urethra/vagina.
C - Cardiac (heart) problem(s). For example, there may be a hole in the heart (most commonly Ventricular
Septal Defect or VSD) or a defective valve.
T - Trachea (windpipe) problem(s). For example, there is a connection between the trachea and esophagus, called
a tracheal esophageal fistula.
E - Esophagus (tube from mouth to stomach) problem(s). For example, part of the esophagus is missing, called esophageal
R - Radius (lower arm bone) and/or Renal (kidney) problem(s). For example, the larger lower arm bone is abnormally
formed, or a thumb is missing or absent or abnormally formed kidney.
L - Limb (arms, hands, legs or feet) problem(s). For example, there exists extra fingers or toes, shortened limbs,
S - Single umbilical artery. The umbilical cord had 2 blood vessels instead of three, there should be two arteries
and one vein in the cord.
(adapted from the VATER Connection Information Sheet)