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J Pediatr Surg. 1985 Dec;20(6):673-80.

Correction of congenital diaphragmatic hernia in utero. IV. An early gestational fetal lamb model for pulmonary vascular morphometric analysis.


Infants born with congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) often have specific pathologic abnormalities of the pulmonary microcirculation that result in high pulmonary vascular resistance and extrapulmonary right-to-left shunting after birth. In an attempt to make an animal model with similar vascular changes, we created CDH in fetal lambs at 60 to 63 days gestation, repaired some at 100 to 113 days gestation, and subsequently performed morphometric analysis of the pulmonary vasculature. Creation of CDH at this early gestational age resulted in a high fetal mortality rate. In the unrepaired CDH lambs, the pulmonary vascular abnormalities were more severe in the left lung. Similar to human CDH, diaphragmatic hernia in the fetal lamb resulted in a decrease in the total size of the pulmonary vascular bed, a decrease in the number of vessels per unit area lung, and increased muscularization of the arterial tree. Fetal surgical repair of CDH restored the pulmonary arterial bed towards normal.

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