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Prenat Diagn. 2011 Jul;31(7):628-36. doi: 10.1002/pd.2778. Epub 2011 May 25.

Prenatal interventions for fetal lung lesions.

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Department of Paediatrics, Division of Neonatology, Leiden University Medical Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands.


The widespread availability of high resolution ultrasound equipment and almost universal routine anatomy scanning in all pregnant women in the developed world has lead to increased detection of abnormalities in the fetal thorax. Already in the 1980s, large pleural effusions and significant macrocystic lesions in the fetus were easily detected on ultrasound. However, smaller lung tumours were often missed. Nowadays, fetal medicine centres receive many referrals for evaluation of fetal lung lesions, of which the most common are congenital cystic adenomatoid malformation and bronchopulmonary sequestration. Almost invariably, both the parents and the referring physicians experience anxiety after detection of large lung masses in the fetus. However, the vast majority of the currently detected fetal lung lesions have an excellent prognosis without the need for prenatal intervention. In the small group of fetuses in which the prognosis is poor, almost exclusively those with concomitant fetal hydrops and cardiac failure, several options for fetal therapy exist, often with a more than 50% survival rate. Indications, techniques, complications and outcomes of these interventions will be described in this review.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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