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Am J Perinatol. 2007 Mar;24(3):197-201. Epub 2007 Mar 19.

A case of congenital high airway obstruction syndrome managed by ex utero intrapartum treatment: case report and review of the literature.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine, University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa, Japan.


Congenital high airway obstruction syndrome (CHAOS) has been reported to be fatal. Ten cases of CHAOS that underwent ex utero intrapartum treatment (EXIT) procedure to secure the fetal airway have been reported. A 36-year-old woman (gravida 3, para 2) was referred to our hospital at 22 weeks of gestation. Sonography revealed large echogenic lungs, flattened diaphragm, and marked hydrops. Magnetic resonance imaging confirmed the diagnosis of CHAOS. Polyhydramnios and fetal skin edema were improved and the fetal ascitic fluid was regressed gradually. At 36 weeks of gestation, an EXIT procedure was undertaken. Fetal laryngoscopy and bronchoscopy showed complete laryngeal obstruction, and a tracheostomy was performed immediately. The infant was discharged from hospital at 6 weeks of age. Thereafter, he developed well both physically and mentally. A laryngoplasty was performed at 20 months of age using silicon sheet as a patent airway. The child has a tracheostomy, is able to phonate but does not speak, and is awaiting decannulation. Use of the EXIT procedure in CHAOS cases offers the potential for salvage and excellent long-term outcome of these fetuses that otherwise would not survive. However, management of the airway, particularly with regard to long-term reconstruction in children with CHAOS, remains challenging.

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