Fetal Stomach Position Predicts Neonatal Outcomes in Isolated Left-Sided Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia

Fetal Diagn Ther. 2016;39(4):248-55. doi: 10.1159/000440649. Epub 2015 Nov 13.


Introduction: We sought to determine the relationship between the degree of stomach herniation by antenatal sonography and neonatal outcomes in fetuses with isolated left-sided congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH).

Materials and methods: We retrospectively reviewed neonatal medical records and antenatal sonography of fetuses with isolated left CDH cared for at a single institution (2000-2012). Fetal stomach position was classified on sonography as follows: intra-abdominal, anterior left chest, mid-to-posterior left chest, or retrocardiac (right chest).

Results: Ninety fetuses were included with 70% surviving to neonatal discharge. Stomach position was intra-abdominal in 14% (n = 13), anterior left chest in 19% (n = 17), mid-to-posterior left chest in 41% (n = 37), and retrocardiac in 26% (n = 23). Increasingly abnormal stomach position was linearly associated with an increased odds of death (OR 4.8, 95% CI 2.1-10.9), extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO; OR 5.6, 95% CI 1.9-16.7), nonprimary diaphragmatic repair (OR 2.7, 95% CI 1.4-5.5), prolonged mechanical ventilation (OR 5.9, 95% CI 2.3-15.6), and prolonged respiratory support (OR 4.0, 95% CI 1.6-9.9). All fetuses with intra-abdominal stomach position survived without substantial respiratory morbidity or need for ECMO.

Discussion: Fetal stomach position is strongly associated with neonatal outcomes in isolated left CDH. This objective tool may allow for accurate prognostication in a variety of clinical settings.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation
  • Female
  • Hernias, Diaphragmatic, Congenital / diagnostic imaging*
  • Hernias, Diaphragmatic, Congenital / mortality
  • Hernias, Diaphragmatic, Congenital / surgery
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Prognosis
  • Respiration, Artificial
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stomach / diagnostic imaging*
  • Stomach / embryology
  • Survival Analysis
  • Treatment Outcome