Fetal lung growth in laryngeal atresia and tracheal agenesis

Aust Paediatr J. 1989 Feb;25(1):47-51. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1754.1989.tb01413.x.


Three cases of airway obstruction in fetuses born at 21, 32 and 40 weeks gestation are reported. The first had laryngeal atresia, cystic dysplastic kidneys, oligohydramnios and immense fluid-filled lungs. The second had upper tracheal agenesis, a tracheo-oesophageal fistula, a cystic dysplastic horseshoe kidney, oligohydramnios and normal-sized lungs. The third had a pin-hole mucosal tract through an otherwise atretic larynx, normal kidneys, no oligohydramnios and normal-sized lungs. Lung weight:body weight ratios, radial alveolar or radial canalicular counts and point-counting of sections of lungs in cases 1 and 2 show that laryngeal or tracheal obstruction may prevent or reduce the pulmonary hypoplasia associated with renal dysplasia, and in cases 2 and 3, that grossly enlarged, hyperplastic lungs may not be seen unless obstruction is complete.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Amniotic Fluid / physiology
  • Female
  • Fetal Diseases / complications
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Larynx / abnormalities*
  • Lung / pathology*
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / complications
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Trachea / abnormalities*