Prenatal management of congenital diaphragmatic hernia

Semin Fetal Neonatal Med. 2022 Dec;27(6):101406. doi: 10.1016/j.siny.2022.101406. Epub 2022 Nov 17.


Recently, two randomized controlled, prospective trials, the Tracheal Occlusion to Accelerate Lung Growth (TOTAL) trials, reported the outcomes on fetal endoluminal tracheal occlusion (FETO) for isolated left congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH). FETO significantly improved outcomes for severe hypoplasia. The effect in moderate cases, where the balloon was inserted later in pregnancy, did not reach significance. In a pooled analysis investigating the effect of the heterogeneity of the treatment effect by the time point of occlusion and severity, the difference may be explained by a difference in the duration of occlusion. Nevertheless, FETO carries a significant risk of preterm birth. The primary objective of this review is to provide an overview of the rationale for fetal intervention in CDH and the results of the randomized trials. The secondary objective is to discuss the technical aspects of FETO. Finally, recent developments of potential alternative fetal approaches will be highlighted.

Keywords: Congenital diaphragmatic hernia; Fetal surgery; Fetoscopic endoluminal tracheal occlusion randomized controlled trial; Prematurity; Preterm premature rupture of membranes; Pulmonary hypoplasia.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Fetoscopy
  • Hernias, Diaphragmatic, Congenital* / surgery
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Pregnancy
  • Premature Birth*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Trachea / surgery