Re-evaluation of stomach position as a simple prognostic factor in fetal left congenital diaphragmatic hernia: a multicenter survey in Japan

Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol. 2011 Mar;37(3):277-82. doi: 10.1002/uog.8892.


Objectives: To document outcome and to explore prognostic factors in fetal left congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH).

Methods: This was a multicenter retrospective study of 109 patients with prenatally diagnosed isolated left CDH born between 2002 and 2007. The primary outcome was intact discharge, defined as discharge from hospital without major morbidities, such as a need for respiratory support including oxygen supplementation, tube feeding, parenteral nutrition or vasodilators. All patients were managed at perinatal centers with immediate resuscitation, gentle ventilation (mostly with high-frequency oscillatory ventilation) and surgery after stabilization. Prenatal data collected included liver and stomach position, lung-to-head ratio, gestational age at diagnosis and presence or absence of polyhydramnios. Stomach position was classified into four grades: Grade 0, abdominal; Grade 1, left thoracic; Grade 2, less than half of the stomach herniated into the right chest; and Grade 3, more than half of the stomach herniated into the right chest.

Results: Overall intact discharge and 90-day survival rates were 65.1% and 79.8%, respectively. Stomach herniation was classified as Grade 0 in 19.3% of cases, Grade 1 in 45.9%, Grade 2 in 13.8% and Grade 3 in 21.1%. Multivariate analysis revealed that liver position was the strongest prognostic variable for intact discharge, followed by stomach position. Based on our results, we divided patients into three groups according to liver (up vs. down) and stomach (Grade 0-2 vs. Grade 3) position. Intact discharge rates declined significantly from liver-down (Group I), to liver-up with stomach Grade 0-2 (Group II), to liver-up with stomach Grade 3 (Group III) (87.0%, 47.4% and 9.5% of cases, respectively).

Conclusion: Current status and outcomes of prenatally diagnosed left CDH in Japan were surveyed. Stomach herniation into the right chest was not uncommon and its grade correlated with outcome. The combination of liver and stomach positions was useful to stratify patients into three groups (Group I-III) with different prognoses.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Hernia, Diaphragmatic / diagnostic imaging
  • Hernia, Diaphragmatic / embryology
  • Hernia, Diaphragmatic / mortality
  • Hernias, Diaphragmatic, Congenital
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Prognosis
  • Respiration, Artificial
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stomach / anatomy & histology
  • Stomach / diagnostic imaging*
  • Stomach / embryology
  • Survival Rate
  • Ultrasonography, Prenatal / methods*