OBJECTIVE: Fetoscopic endoluminal tracheal occlusion (FETO) aims to reverse pulmonary hypoplasia associated with congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) and mitigate the associated respiratory insufficiency and pulmonary hypertension after birth. We aimed to determine whether FETO improves the cardiopulmonary transition at birth in an ovine model of CDH.
METHODS: In 12 ovine fetuses with surgically induced diaphragmatic hernia (DH; 80 dGA), an endotracheal balloon was placed tracheoscopically at ≈110 dGA and removed at ≈131 dGA (DH+FETO), while 10 were left untreated (DH). At ≈138 dGA, all lambs (survival at delivery: 67% [DH+FETO], 70% [DH]) were delivered via caesarean section and ventilated for 2 hours. Physiological and ventilation parameters were continuously recorded, and arterial blood-gas values were measured.
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