Fetal congenital diaphragmatic hernia: accuracy of sonography in the diagnosis and prediction of the outcome after birth

L Guibaud, D Filiatrault, L Garel, A Grignon, J Dubois, M C Miron, L Dallaire
AJR. American Journal of Roentgenology 1996, 166 (5): 1195-202

OBJECTIVE: This study evaluated the diagnostic accuracy of prenatal sonography in congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) and assessed sonographic predictors of postnatal outcome.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Sonograms and medical records of 43 fetuses with CDH were retrospectively reviewed. Sonographic features were correlated to clinical evolution and surgical and pathologic findings.

RESULTS: CDH was diagnosed prenatally with sonography in 40 cases. Intrathoracic stomach and liver were routinely identified. Ipsilateral lung tissue could not be differentiated from herniated content. Contralateral lung was identified in all cases except two. The overall survival rate was 43% after excluding terminated pregnancies. Besides associated malformations and chromosomal anomalies, the only statistically significant predictor of survival was the quantification of the contralateral lung area at the level of an axial four-chamber view: The survival rate was 86% when the contralateral lung area was equal to or greater than one half the area of the hemithorax.

CONCLUSION: Sonography is highly accurate for prenatal diagnosis od CDH. Sonography also assists the prognostication of postnatal outcome in isolated CDH by allowing quantification of the contralateral lung area on a four-chamber view.

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