Research: Influence of Gestational Age and Mode of Delivery on Neonatal Outcomes in Prenatally Diagnosed Isolated Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia

Fetal Diagn Ther

. 2021 May 5;1-9. doi: 10.1159/000515252. Online ahead of print.

Influence of Gestational Age and Mode of Delivery on Neonatal Outcomes in Prenatally Diagnosed Isolated Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia

Shelly Soni 1 2 3Julie S Moldenhauer 1 2 3Michael J Kallan 1Natalie Rintoul 1 2 4N Scott Adzick 1 2 3Holly L Hedrick 1 2 3Nahla Khalek 1 2 3Affiliations expand


Aim: The optimal gestational age (GA) at delivery and mode of delivery (MoD) for pregnancies with fetal congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) is undetermined. The impact of early term (37-38 weeks 6 days) versus full term (39-40 weeks 6 days) and MoD on immediate neonatal outcomes in prenatally diagnosed isolated CDH cases was evaluated.

Material and methods: A retrospective chart review of pregnancies evaluated and delivered with the prenatal diagnosis of CDH between July 1, 2008, and December 31, 2018. The primary outcome was survival to hospital discharge. Secondary outcomes included neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) length of stay (LOS), extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) requirement and need for supplemental oxygen at day 30 of life.

Results: A total of 296 patients were prenatally evaluated for CDH and delivered in a single center during the study period. After applying exclusion criteria, data were available on 113 women who delivered early term and 72 women who delivered full term. Survival to hospital discharge was comparable between the 2 groups – 83.2% in the early term versus 93.1% in the full term (p = 0.07; 95% CI of 0.13-1.04). No difference was observed in any other secondary outcomes. MoD was stratified into spontaneous vaginal, induced vaginal, unplanned cesarean and scheduled cesarean delivery with associated neonatal survival rates of 74.2, 90.6, 89.7 and 88.2%, respectively, p = 0.13. The 5-min Apgar score was higher in the elective cesarean group (7.94) followed by the induced vaginal delivery group (7.8) compared to 7.17 and 7.18 in the spontaneous vaginal and unplanned cesarean groups, respectively (p = 0.03). The GA and MoD did not influence survival to hospital discharge nor NICU LOS in multivariate analysis.

Conclusions: Though there were no significant differences in neonatal outcomes for early term compared to full term deliveries of CDH neonates, a trend toward improved survival rates and lower ECMO requirements in the full term group may suggest an underlying importance GA at delivery. Further studies are warranted to validate these findings.

Keywords: Congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH); Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO); Gestational age at delivery; Mode of delivery; Neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) length of stay (LOS); Neonatal outcomes; Neonatal survival rates.

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