RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Successful EXIT (ex utero intrapartum treatment) procedure in a fetus diagnosed prenatally with congenital high-airway obstruction syndrome due to laryngeal atresia.

Congenital high-airway obstruction syndrome (CHAOS) is due to rare malformations and has been reported previously in only few cases. If the diagnosis can be made prenatally, the ex utero intrapartum treatment (EXIT) procedure may be life-saving. A healthy 28-year old nulli-para was referred because of isolated ascites found at gestational week 16 during routine ultrasound scan. Repeated scans showed overdistended hyperechogenic lungs with inverted diaphragm and a dilated trachea, which was interpreted as a CHAOS resulting from laryngeal atresia. The ascites eventually disappeared. An EXIT procedure was performed at 35 weeks of gestation. Anesthesia of the mother was induced with thiopental, succinylcholine and fentanyl followed by intubation, and maintained with isoflurane and nitrous oxide. A low abdominal midline incision was performed followed by a low transverse incision of the uterus. The fetal head, right arm and shoulder were delivered and intramuscular anesthesia was administered to the fetus. Immediate laryngoscopy confirmed the diagnosis and a tracheostomy was therefore performed. Surfactant was given after a few minutes of ventilation. Compliance improved and when the fetus was easy to ventilate, it was delivered. The baby is developing normally at 18 months of age. Surgical correction of the malformation will be performed after two years of age. It is concluded that some fetuses with a prenatal diagnosis of CHAOS can benefit from the EXIT procedure at delivery. This necessitates a multidisciplinary management team.

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