Objectives: To assess the prognosis of prenatally diagnosed congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) during the years 1995-2000 in order to improve prenatal counselling.
Methods: Retrospective study of all 31 cases of women with prenatally diagnosed CDH.
Results: Nine pregnancies (29%) were terminated and two fetuses (6%) were stillborn. Ten fetuses (32%) had associated anomalies (four Fryns' syndrome) and four (13%) had underlying chromosomal anomalies. Twenty pregnancies were continued. Seven babies died before surgery either immediately in the delivery room (five between 1 and 45 min), or during the 'stabilisation period' (two babies, 7 and 21 h). Three babies presented with trisomy 18, Fryns' syndrome or transposition of the great arteries with microdeletion 22q11. Thirteen babies had the defect repaired (median 18 h, range 4-72 h) and 12 survived. Mechanical ventilation was required for a median of 12 days. One survivor has cerebral palsy.
Conclusion: Of 31 prenatally diagnosed CDH cases 38% are alive, of 20 ongoing pregnancies 60% are alive, and of 13 babies who underwent surgery 92% are alive. No baby with associated malformations survived. These numbers need to be known by each member of the counselling team in order to give parents adequate information to make their decision.
Copyright 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.