Enteric tube position on preoperative radiographs predicts clinical outcomes in neonatal congenital diaphragmatic hernia with and without prenatal diagnosis

J Perinatol. 2023 Sep;43(9):1131-1138. doi: 10.1038/s41372-023-01712-6. Epub 2023 Jun 30.


Objective: Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH) is diagnosed prenatally in ~60% of cases. Prenatal measures typically guide management and prognostication. Simple postnatal prognosticators are needed when prenatal diagnosis is lacking. We hypothesized that preoperative orogastric tube (OGT) tip position relative to the contralateral diaphragm correlates with defect severity, resource utilization, and clinical outcomes regardless of diagnostic status.

Study design: 150 neonates with left-posterolateral CDH were analyzed. Impact of intrathoracic and intraabdominal preoperative tip position on clinical outcomes was compared.

Results: Ninety-nine neonates were prenatally diagnosed. Overall, intrathoracic position significantly correlated with larger diaphragmatic defects, advanced postnatal pulmonary support requirements (HFOV, pulmonary vasodilators, and ECMO), operative complexity, longer hospitalization, and poorer survival to discharge. These observations persisted when analyzing only cases lacking prenatal diagnosis.

Conclusions: Preoperative OGT tip position predicts defect severity, resource utilization, and outcomes in CDH. This observation enhances postnatal prognostication and care planning for neonates without a prenatal diagnosis.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Hernias, Diaphragmatic, Congenital* / diagnostic imaging
  • Hernias, Diaphragmatic, Congenital* / surgery
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Diagnosis
  • Radiography
  • Retrospective Studies