Background: Perinatal management of congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) and gastroschisis (GS) remains nonstandardized and institution specific. This analysis describes practice and outcome variation across a national network.
Methods: A national, prospective, disease-specific database for CDH and GS was evaluated over 4 years. Centers were evaluated individually and defined as low (low-volume center [LVC]) or high (high-volume center [HVC]) volume based on case mean.
Results: Congenital diaphragmatic hernia. Two hundred fifteen liveborn cases were studied (mean, 14.3 cases/center) across 15 centers (8 LVCs and 7 HVCs). Significant interinstitutional practice variation was noted in rates of termination (0%-40%) and cesarean delivery (0%-61%). Centers demonstrated marked variation in ventilation strategies, vasodilator and paralytic use, timing of surgery, and rates of primary closure. Overall survival was 81.4% (LVC, 76.9%; HVC, 82.4%; P = .43). Gastroschisis. Four hundred sixteen cases were investigated (mean, 26 cases/center; range, 6-72) across 16 centers (10 LVCs and 6 HVCs). Cesarean delivery rates varied widely between centers (0%-86%) as did timing of closure (early vs delayed, 1%-100%). There was no difference in length of stay, days on total parenteral nutrition, and overall survival (94.3% vs 97.2%; P = .17) between LVCs and HVCs.
Conclusions: The existence of perinatal practice and outcome variation for GS and CDH suggests targets for improved delivery of care and justifies efforts to standardize treatment on a national basis.
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.