Background: Gastroschisis occurs in 1 of every 4000 live births resulting in a neonate with an abdominal wall defect that requires repair. Surgical correction has high survival rates.
Case: An 18-year-old primigravida had a fetus with gastroschisis detected by ultrasound performed for elevated maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein. Subsequent ultrasound found resolution of the classic sonographic features of gastroschisis and evidence of intestinal obstruction. At birth, no obvious abdominal wall defect was seen. Laparotomy was done because of clinical and radiographic evidence of bowel obstruction, and we found significant bowel loss that resulted in short-bowel syndrome.
Conclusion: Gastroschisis diagnosed antenatally can resolve in utero causing necrosis of portions of the small and large bowels, causing short-bowel syndrome and increased morbidity and mortality.