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A Journal on Obstetrics and Gynecology


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Minerva Ginecologica 1999 July-August;51(7-8):283-90

language: Italian

Congenital diaphragmatic hernia. Prenatal diagnosis and postnatal outcome

Lamberti A., Liguori M., Teodoro A., Tartaglione A., Caccioppoli U., Paladini D.


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Background. The objective of this study is to determine the management and the outcome of 17 cases of congenital diaphragmatic hernia observed, and to compare the results with the literature data.
Methods. The study was made between June 1994 and June 1998 in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology of the University of Naples Federico II and it collected 17 pregnant women with diagnosed or suspected congenital diaphragmatic hernia, refferred to our diagnostic unit from other institutes: between 18 and 37 weeks' gestation, a detailed ultrasound examination and an echocardiography were performed to confirm the diagnosis, to establish the site and contents of the hernia exactly and to detect associated structural malformations. Fetal kariotyping was made in 7 cases. When the women decided to continue pregnancy, or the legal limit for termination of pregnancy was exceeded, the pregnancy was monitored with ultrasound examination, delivery took place in our department and the baby was transferred to an intensive care unit.
Results. Ultrasound examination led to the diagnosis of 14 postero-lateral left-sided diaphragmatic hernias (82.3%), 1 antero-lateral left-sided (5.9%), 1 bilateral postero-lateral sided (5.9%) and 1 diaphragmatic eventration (5.9%). Associated structural malformation were diagnosed in 4 fetuses (27%). In 1 case only (14.3% of examinated kariotyping) an abnormal result was found. Five pregnancies (29.4%) were terminated, 2 (11.7%) are still going on and 10 fetuses (58.9%) were born alive: 5 fetuses (50%) died in the first days of life before surgical intervention, 2 (40% of operated children and 20% of born alive) died after the operation and 3 (60% of operated children and 30% of born alive) are actually alive and in good health. The total postnatal mortality was 70% and 40% after operation.
Conclusions. From the analysis of these data and from the international literature the conclusion is drawn that congenital diaphragmatic hernia is associated with a high postnatal mortality, although potentially it can be corrected with surgery: a better postnatal management and a better knowledge of evaluable in uterus prognostic factors are necessary to improve postnatal outcome.

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