Purpose: To investigate the relationship between the thorax diameter and defect diameter of giant omphaloceles as a predictor for fetal outcome.
Methods: In a retrospective study, 17 fetuses with isolated giant omphaloceles were included for evaluation. The anterior-posterior thorax diameter and the defect diameter were measured from ultrasound images. For analysis, the thorax-to-head ratio (T/HC), the defect diameter-to-head ratio (DD/HC), and the quotient of the defect diameter and the thorax diameter (DD/T) were calculated. The days of ventilation (t ventilation), the duration until hospital discharge (t hospital), and the type of treatment were recorded as outcome parameters.
Results: No relationship was found between the calculated ratios (T/HC, DD/HC, or DD/T) and neither t hospital (r = -0.418, p = 0.095; r = -0.153, p = 0.556; and r = -0.023, p = 0.929; respectively) nor t ventilation (r = -0.391, p = 0.121; r = 0.041, p = 0.875; and r = 0.121, p = 0.645, respectively). The type of postnatal treatment was not associated with the three calculated ratios or t hospital (r = 0.155, p = 0.553; r = 0.019, p = 0.942; and r = 0.012, p = 0.965; r = -0.009, p = 0.973, respectively). In 53% of cases, t hospital was delayed due to additional and independent postnatal complications.
Conclusion: Thorax diameter or defect diameter of giant omphaloceles is not predictive for fetal outcome. The perinatal care of these abdominal wall defects still remains a multidisciplinary challenge, but the outcome of giant omphaloceles is favorable at experienced centers.
Keywords: Fetal outcome; Giant omphaloceles; Perinatal outcome; Pulmonary hypoplasia; Thorax diameter.