Lung pathology in patients with congenital diaphragmatic hernia treated with fetal surgical intervention, including tracheal occlusion.


Journal Article

Fetal intervention for congenital diaphragmatic hernia was developed to lessen the high morbidity and mortality of pulmonary hypoplasia. Lung pathology and morphometry in patients treated with fetal intervention have not been described. We report clinical and autopsy findings, as well as basic lung morphometry in 16 cases of congenital diaphragmatic hernia with fetal intervention (12 cases tracheal occlusion; 4 cases hernia repair), and 19 cases of congenital diaphragmatic hernia without fetal intervention. All patients who underwent fetal intervention were born premature. Lung enlargement with increased lung-to-body weight ratio was observed with fetal tracheal occlusion, accompanied by lower than normal radial alveolar counts and increased alveolar size. Patients treated with tracheal occlusion also had early alveolar development (at 29.8, 30.6, and 30.9 wk postconceptual age) as well as mucous fluid pooling in airways and alveoli. All cases showed severe alveolar septal widening, more extensive in patients without fetal intervention. When grouped by postconceptual age, no statistically significant difference was found between patients with and without fetal intervention with respect to lung-to-body weight ratio, radial alveolar count, mean alveolar length, and relative arteriolar media thickness. Lung enlargement has been observed with fetal tracheal occlusion sonographically; our studies suggest that this is due in part to emphysema and mucous fluid pooling. The lung remains abnormal with low radial alveolar counts and increased alveolar size. Tracheal occlusion did not prevent development of lung pathology associated with pulmonary hypoplasia.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Heerema, AE; Rabban, JT; Sydorak, RM; Harrison, MR; Jones, KD

Published Date

  • November 2003

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 6 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 536 - 546

PubMed ID

  • 15018453

Pubmed Central ID

  • 15018453

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1615-5742

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1093-5266

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s10024-003-5054-6


  • eng