Fetoscopic Endoluminal Tracheal Occlusion in Fetuses with Severe Diaphragmatic Hernia: A Three-Year Single-Center Experience

Nicola Persico, Isabella Fabietti, Fabrizio Ciralli, Valerio Gentilino, Francesco D'Ambrosi, Simona Boito, Manuela Wally Ossola, Mariarosa Colnaghi, Valentina Condò, Francesco Macchini, Ernesto Leva, Fabio Mosca, Luigi Fedele

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To report on our experience in the prenatal treatment of severe congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) by fetoscopic endoluminal tracheal occlusion (FETO). Methods: Between 2012 and 2014, FETO was performed at our center in 21 cases of CDH considered to be severe based on sonographic measurement of observed/expected lung-to-head ratio (O/E LHR) and side of the defect. We reported pre- and postoperative ultrasound findings, procedure-related complications, pregnancy outcome and survival at 1-3 years of age. Results: The median gestational age (GA) at balloon insertion was 28.1 weeks (range 26.0-31.1) and the median GA at delivery 34.7 weeks (range 31.6-39.0); delivery before 32 and 34 weeks occurred in 2 (9.5%) and 7 (33.3%) cases, respectively. Postnatal survival at 1-3 years of age in the 17 cases with isolated unilateral CDH was 47.1%. The percentage difference between pre-balloon removal O/E LHR and pre-FETO O/E LHR was significantly higher in survivors compared to neonates who died (40.8 vs. 21.2%, respectively; p < 0.05). Conclusions: In this study, FETO was associated with an infant survival of 47% in cases with isolated unilateral severe CDH. The post-FETO increase in O/E LHR was higher in fetuses that survived compared to those who died.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-219
JournalFetal Diagnosis and Therapy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Congenital diaphragmatic hernia
  • Fetal surgery
  • Fetal ultrasound
  • Fetoscopy
  • Lung hypoplasia
  • Tracheal occlusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Embryology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology

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