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Semin Pediatr Surg. 2013 Feb;22(1):44-9. doi: 10.1053/j.sempedsurg.2012.10.008.

Ex Utero Intrapartum Therapy.

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The Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104-4399, USA.


The Ex Utero Intrapartum Therapy (EXIT) procedure was initially developed to secure the airway in fetuses at delivery after they had undergone in utero tracheal occlusion for congenital diaphragmatic hernia. Indications for the EXIT procedure have been expanded to include any delivery in which prenatal diagnosis is concerned for neonatal airway compromise, such as large neck masses and Congenital High Airway Obstruction Syndrome, or when a difficult resuscitation is anticipated such as with large lung lesions. Uteroplacental blood flow and gas exchange are maintained through the use of inhalational anesthetics to allow optimal uterine relaxation with partial delivery of the fetus and amnioinfusion to sustain uterine distension. Using the EXIT procedure, sufficient time is provided on placental bypass to perform life-saving procedures such as bronchoscopy, laryngoscopy, endotracheal intubation, tracheostomy, cannulation for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, and resection of lung masses or resection of neck masses in a controlled setting, thus avoiding a potential catastrophe.

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