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Fetal Diagn Ther. 2012;31(4):210-5. doi: 10.1159/000336228. Epub 2012 Apr 26.

Early neurodevelopmental outcome of infants with high-risk fetal lung lesions.

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  • 1The Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and The University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pa. 19104, USA.



To evaluate the neurodevelopmental outcome of infants with high-risk fetal lung lesions defined as (1) requiring fetal intervention and/or ex utero intrapartum therapy (EXIT), or (2) acute respiratory decompensation postnatally necessitating emergent resection within 48 h of life.


We reviewed the medical records of 13 consecutive patients with high-risk fetal lung lesions who were enrolled in our prospective interdisciplinary follow-up program. Neurodevelopmental status was evaluated using the Bayley Scales of Infant Development-III (children ≤3 years, n = 12), or the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence-III (children ≥4 years, n = 1).


Eight children (62%) underwent prenatal intervention (EXIT, n = 6; fetal resection, n = 1; intrauterine shunt placement, n = 1), and 5 (38%) required emergent resection postnatally. Median age at evaluation was 25 months (range: 5-80). Average scores for cognitive development were found in all children assessed under 3 years of age. The one child who was tested for cognitive ability at 6 years of age scored in the borderline range of intellectual functioning. For language outcome, 15% scored above average, 54% scored within the average range, and 31% had mild deficits. Overall, 77% scored within the average range for neuromotor outcome, while 23% scored within the mildly delayed range. None of the children had severe delays. Cognitive, language, and psychomotor scores were similar between both groups. Hypotonicity was found in 23%. Autism was suspected in one child who underwent an EXIT procedure and was postnatally diagnosed with mosaic trisomy 18.


The majority of children with high-risk fetal lung lesions have age-appropriate neurodevelopmental scores.

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