Tracheobronchomegaly following intrauterine tracheal occlusion for congenital diaphragmatic hernia

Pediatr Radiol. 2012 Aug;42(8):916-22. doi: 10.1007/s00247-012-2362-x. Epub 2012 May 29.


Background: Fetuses with severe congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) and pulmonary hypoplasia may benefit from fetal endoluminal tracheal occlusion (FETO). Enlargement of the main bronchi and trachea appears to be a common complication of FETO.

Objective: To retrospectively evaluate the trachea and main bronchi of infants who underwent FETO for CDH and compare diameters with age-matched references.

Material and methods: Postnatal and follow-up chest radiographs were performed in seven children with unilateral CDH treated by FETO. Additional CT was performed in six of these (one neonate died before CT could be performed). Images were acquired from 3 days to 23 months of age. For each child, radiographs and CT images with optimal visualisation of the airways were selected for retrospective analysis. Tracheal and bronchial morphology was assessed by two experienced paediatric radiologists, and the diameters of these structures measured and compared with age-matched references.

Results: Mean diameters of the trachea and main bronchi were above the age-matched normal range in all patients, regardless of the side of the hernia or the degree of lung hypoplasia.

Conclusion: Enlargement of the trachea and main bronchi appears following FETO and persists at least to the age of 5 years.

MeSH terms

  • Balloon Occlusion*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Fetoscopy / methods*
  • Gestational Age
  • Hernia, Diaphragmatic / diagnostic imaging
  • Hernia, Diaphragmatic / surgery
  • Hernias, Diaphragmatic, Congenital*
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Radiography, Thoracic
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tomography, Spiral Computed
  • Trachea / diagnostic imaging
  • Trachea / pathology*
  • Trachea / surgery
  • Tracheobronchomegaly / diagnostic imaging*
  • Tracheobronchomegaly / etiology*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ultrasonography