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Benchmarking against the MOMS Trial: Zurich Results of Open Fetal Surgery for Spina Bifida

Ueli Möhrlen, Nicole Ochsenbein-Kölble, Luca Mazzone, Franziska Kraehenmann, Margaret Hüsler, Barbara Casanova, Peter Biro, David Wille, Bea Latal, Ianina Scheer, Vera Bernet, Theres Moehrlen, Leonhard Held, Alan W Flake, Roland Zimmermann, Martin Meuli
Fetal Diagnosis and Therapy 2019 June 5, : 1-7
31167195

INTRODUCTION: The Management of Myelomeningocele Study, a.k.a. the MOMS trial, was published in 2011 in the New England Journal of Medicine. This prospective randomized controlled trial proved to be a milestone publication that provided definitive evidence that fetal surgery is a novel standard of care for select fetuses with spina bifida aperta (SB). The goal of our study is to assess whether our center can match these benchmark results.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Our study was conducted according to the MOMS protocol using the same inclusion and exclusion criteria and looked at the same outcome parameters that were used in the MOMS trial. Zurich and MOMS results were compared.

RESULTS: We enrolled 20 patients between December 2010 and May 2015 all of whom underwent fetal surgery for SB. Among 51 different outcome variables, there were only 3 favorable (multiplicity-adjusted) significant differences (gestational age at birth, hindbrain herniation, and psychomotor development). There were no statistically significant differences regarding any other parameters.

CONCLUSION: Our findings confirm that rigorous apprenticeship, training, and comprehensive prospective data collection enable centers like the Zurich Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Therapy to achieve benchmark results for open fetal surgery for myelomeningocele and myeloschisis. These results justify the existence and continuation of our program. Outcome documentation is an essential element of quality management. It is medically and ethically fundamental for fetal medicine and surgery centers offering high-end innovative medical care.

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