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Prenat Diagn. 2009 May;29(5):457-63. doi: 10.1002/pd.2222.

When is fetoscopic release of amniotic bands indicated? Review of outcome of cases treated in utero and selection criteria for fetal surgery.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics at the University Hospital of Zürich, Switzerland.



The objectives are to analyze the outcomes of fetal interventions for fetal limb abnormalities associated with amniotic band syndrome (ABS), to compare the outcome with the known natural history, and to establish selection criteria for fetal intervention.


In a Medline search, six cases of prenatal fetoscopic interventions for ABS were found. An unpublished case was added.


Review of the seven cases of treated ABS in utero suggests that abnormal, but present blood flow at Doppler distal to the area constricted by the band may optimally identify cases suitable for fetal surgery. We propose a prenatal classification in stages of cases of ABS based on ultrasound and Doppler findings. Premature rupture of membranes (PROM) occurred in five patients (71%). The median gestational age (GA) at delivery was 34.8 weeks (range 32 to 39). The median time between procedure and PROM was 6 weeks (range 4 days to 14.3 weeks). The median time between procedure and delivery was 11.8 weeks (range 5-17).


The use of a uniform prenatal classification of cases of ABS may allow a more precise correlation of prenatal findings and postnatal outcome.

(c) 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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