Background: Congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) is a congenital anomaly with high mortality and morbidity mainly due to pulmonary hypoplasia and hypertension. Temporary fetal tracheal occlusion to promote prenatal lung growth may improve survival. Entrapment of lung fluid stretches the airways, leading to lung growth. Methods: Fetal endoluminal tracheal occlusion (FETO) is performed by percutaneous sono-endoscopic insertion of a balloon developed for interventional radiology. Reversal of the occlusion to induce lung maturation can be performed by fetoscopy, transabdominal puncture, tracheoscopy, or by postnatal removal if all else fails. Results: FETO and balloon removal have been shown safe in experienced hands. This paper deals with the technical aspects of balloon insertion and removal. While FETO is invasive, it has minimal maternal risks yet can cause preterm birth potentially offsetting its beneficial effects. Conclusion: For left-sided severe and moderate CDH, the procedure is considered investigational and is currently being evaluated in a global randomized clinical trial (https://www.totaltrial.eu/). The procedure can be clinically offered to fetuses with severe right-sided CDH.
- Congenital diaphragmatic hernia
- Fetal endoluminal tracheal occlusion
- Fetal surgery
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynaecology