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Spectrum of cloacal exstrophy.

Cloacal exstrophy, one of the most severe congenital anomalies compatible with life, occurs in up to 1 in 200,000 lives births. The condition affects nearly every major organ system with severe neurologic, skeletal, gastrointestinal, and genitourinary ramifications. With increased understanding of the anatomy and embryology combined with refinements in prenatal diagnosis and postnatal care, there is now near-universal survival of patients with cloacal exstrophy. Functional and cosmetic outcomes have improved with modifications in surgical technique. However, debate continues regarding the issue of gender identity, and long-term data are still accruing with respect to the best strategy for management. Despite the extensive malformations noted, many patients have gone on to live fruitful lives.

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