Prenatal prediction of pulmonary hypoplasia

Semin Fetal Neonatal Med. 2017 Aug;22(4):245-249. doi: 10.1016/j.siny.2017.03.001. Epub 2017 Mar 18.


Pulmonary hypoplasia, although rare, is associated with significant neonatal morbidity and mortality. Conditions associated with pulmonary hypoplasia include those which limit normal thoracic capacity or movement, including skeletal dysplasias and abdominal wall defects; those with mass effect, including congenital diaphragmatic hernia and pleural effusions; and those with decreased amniotic fluid, including preterm, premature rupture of membranes, and genitourinary anomalies. The ability to predict severe pulmonary hypoplasia prenatally aids in family counseling, as well as obstetric and neonatal management. The objective of this review is to outline the imaging techniques that are widely used prenatally to assess pulmonary hypoplasia and to discuss the limitations of these methods.

Keywords: Lung volume; Prenatal diagnosis; Pulmonary hypoplasia.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abnormalities, Multiple / diagnostic imaging*
  • Abnormalities, Multiple / embryology
  • Abnormalities, Multiple / pathology
  • Abnormalities, Multiple / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Fetal Development
  • Humans
  • Lung / abnormalities*
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lung / embryology
  • Lung / pathology
  • Lung / physiopathology
  • Lung Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lung Diseases / embryology
  • Lung Diseases / pathology
  • Lung Diseases / physiopathology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / trends
  • Organ Size
  • Pregnancy
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler / trends
  • Ultrasonography, Prenatal / trends

Supplementary concepts

  • Lung agenesis