Quantification of intrathoracic liver herniation by magnetic resonance imaging and prediction of postnatal survival in fetuses with congenital diaphragmatic hernia

Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol. 2008 Oct;32(5):627-32. doi: 10.1002/uog.6146.


Objective: To quantify the degree of intrathoracic liver herniation by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and evaluate its effect on postnatal survival in fetuses with isolated congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH).

Methods: Forty fetuses that were expectantly managed and that were delivered after 32 weeks' gestation were included in this study. On axial T2 weighted MR images the degree of intrathoracic liver herniation was measured by volumetry, using the xyphoid process and thoracic apex as landmarks. The ratio of the volume of the liver that was herniated into the thoracic cavity to the volume of the thoracic cavity was calculated (LiTR). All the fetuses also underwent lung volumetry, and the ratio of the observed/expected total fetal lung volume (o/e TFLV) was calculated. Regression analysis was used to investigate the effect on survival of side of occurrence of CDH, o/e TFLV, LiTR and gestational age at delivery. Receiver-operating characteristics (ROC) curves were constructed to examine the prediction of survival by o/e TFLV or LiTR alone and o/e TFLV and LiTR together.

Results: Univariate regression analysis demonstrated that significant predictors of survival were o/e TFLV and LiTR. Multiple regression analysis demonstrated that o/e TFLV and LiTR provided independent prediction of survival. The area under the ROC curve (AUC) for the prediction of postnatal survival from o/e TFLV alone was 0.846 (P < 0.001; SE = 0.062) and the AUC from LiTR alone was 0.875 (P = 0.001; SE = 0.072). The AUC for the prediction of postnatal survival from o/e TFLV and LiTR combined was 0.912 (P < 0.001; SE = 0.045), however it was not statistically significantly different from that of o/e TFLV alone.

Conclusion: In expectantly managed CDH fetuses, assessment of LiTR using MRI provided prediction of postnatal survival independently from o/e TFLV.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Epidemiologic Methods
  • Female
  • Fetal Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Fetal Diseases / mortality
  • Fetal Organ Maturity
  • Hernia, Diaphragmatic / diagnosis
  • Hernia, Diaphragmatic / mortality
  • Hernias, Diaphragmatic, Congenital*
  • Humans
  • Liver Diseases / congenital*
  • Liver Diseases / diagnosis
  • Liver Diseases / mortality
  • Lung / embryology
  • Lung Volume Measurements / methods
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Diagnosis / methods*