Plug the lung until it grows (PLUG): a new method to treat congenital diaphragmatic hernia in utero

J Pediatr Surg. 1994 May;29(5):612-7. doi: 10.1016/0022-3468(94)90724-2.


Fetal lungs normally produce fluid that flows through the upper airway into the amniotic fluid. In fetuses with congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH), obstructing the flow of lung fluid may expand the lungs and propel the viscera from the chest, alleviating the pulmonary hypoplasia associated with CDH. To test this hypothesis, left-sided diaphragmatic hernias were created in sixteen 75-day-gestation fetal lambs (full-term, 145 days). At 120 days, the trachea was ligated in eight lambs; it was left unligated in the other eight. At 135 to 140 days, the fetuses were delivered, and a tracheostomy performed. Newborns were ventilated for 1 hour and then killed. Blood gas analysis was performed at 0,5,20,40, and 60 minutes. Lung dry weight, DNA, protein, and lipid analyses, as well as plasma cortisol measurements were performed. At autopsy, in the ligated lambs, the abdominal viscera was reduced from the thorax; however, the unligated lambs had viscera completely occupying the left chest. The lungs of the ligated lambs had a higher dry weight (4.22 +/- 1.37 g/kg v 1.95 +/- 0.59 g/kg; P =.001), DNA (193.8 +/- 90.5 mg/kg v 91.5 +/- 66.4 mg/kg; P = .02), and protein (1798 +/- 691.6 mg/kg v 766.6 +/- 201 mg/kg; P = .004). Lung saturated phosphatidyl choline (SPC) levels, DNA:protein ratio, and plasma cortisol were not different between the groups. Neonatal Po2 at 60 minutes was higher in the ligated group (179.4 +/- 127.0 mm Hg v 60.9 +/- 62.4 mm Hg; P < .05), and Pco2 was lower (44.1 +/- 21.4 v 83.9 +/- 23.5; P < .05) in the ligated group.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Fetal Diseases / surgery*
  • Fetal Organ Maturity
  • Hernia, Diaphragmatic / surgery*
  • Hernias, Diaphragmatic, Congenital*
  • Ligation
  • Lung / embryology*
  • Sheep
  • Trachea / surgery*