Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relationship between the presence of a hernia sac and fetal lung growth and outcomes in infants with Congenital, Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH).
Methods: The medical records of all neonates with CDH treated in our institution between 2004 and 2011 were reviewed. The presence of a hernia sac was confirmed at the time of surgical repair or at autopsy. Data were analyzed using parametric and non-parametric tests where appropriate. Multivariable regression and survival analyses were applied.
Results: Of 148 neonates treated for CDH, 107 (72%) had isolated CDH and 30 (20%) had a hernia sac. Infants with a hernia sac had significantly lower need for ECMO, patch repair, supplemental oxygen at 30 days of life, and shorter duration of mechanical ventilation and hospital stay. Ninety-three patients had prenatal imaging. The mean observed-to-expected total fetal lung volume in the sac group was higher throughout gestation. Although a greater percentage of sac patients had liver herniation as a dichotomous variable, the amount of herniated liver (%LH and LiTR) was significantly lower in the presence of a hernia sac.
Conclusion: The presence of a hernia sac in Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia is associated with less visceral herniation, greater fetal lung growth, and better post-natal outcomes.
Keywords: CDH; Congenital diaphragmatic hernia; Fetal lung volumes; Fetal magnetic resonance imaging; Hernia sac; Morbidity; Mortality; Prenatal diagnosis.
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