Fetal Endotracheal Occlusion (FETO) in Severe and Extremely Severe Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia

2015-05-04 11:31:44 | BioPortfolio


Congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) occurs when the diaphragm fails to fully fuse and leaves a portal through which abdominal structures can migrate into the thorax. In the more severe cases, the abdominal structures remain in the thoracic cavity and compromise the development of the lungs. Infants born with this defect have a decreased capacity for gas exchange; mortality rates after birth have been reported between 40-60%. Now that CDH can be accurately diagnosed by mid-gestation, a number of strategies have been developed to repair the hernia and promote lung tissue development.

Fetal tracheal occlusion is one technique that temporarily closes the herniated area with the Goldvalve balloon to allow the lungs to develop and increase survival at birth. This is a pilot study of a cohort of fetuses affected by severe CDH that will undergo FETO to demonstrate the feasibility of performing the procedure, managing the pregnancy during the period of tracheal occlusion, and removal of the device prior to delivery at BCM/Texas Children's Hospital (TCH). It is anticipated that fetal tracheal occlusion plug-unplug procedure will improve mortality and morbidity outcomes as compared with current management, but this is not a primary endpoint of the feasibility study. We will perform 15 FETO procedures on fetuses diagnosed prenatally with severe and extremely severe CDH.



Women carrying fetuses with severe or extremely severe CDH and a normal karyotype will undergo evaluation. The fetuses will be 27+0/7 to 29+6/7 weeks of gestational age for severe CDH and can be as early at 22+0/7 for those deemed as "extremely severe" cases of CDH. They will have ultrasound and/or MRI evaluation to rule out other anomalies, calculation of the LHR from ultrasound measurements, echocardiography, and detailed obstetric/perinatal consultation. Patients who meet the eligibility criteria will be extensively counseled, and those who wish to participate will provide written, informed consent for the study.


The procedure will be performed under spinal anesthesia or local anesthesia with intravenous sedation. The technique of fetal endoscopic tracheal occlusion has been described. Using standard technique, a cannula loaded with a pyramidal trocar will be inserted into the amniotic cavity and a fetoscope or flexible operating endoscope will be passed through the cannula into the amniotic fluid. The scope will be guided into the fetal larynx either through a nostril and then via the nasal passage or through the fetal mouth, and then through the fetal vocal cords with the aid of both direct vision through the scope and cross-sectional ultrasonographic visualization. A detachable latex balloon will be placed in the fetal trachea midway between the carina and the vocal cords. The balloon will be inflated with isosmotic contrast material so that it fills the fetal trachea.


The mothers will be discharged once stable. Serial measurements of sonographic lung volume and LHR will begin within 24-48 hours following surgery and continue weekly by targeted ultrasound evaluation. Amniotic fluid level and membrane status will also be monitored at weekly intervals. Comprehensive ultrasonography for fetal growth will be performed every four weeks. All discharged patients will stay within 30 minutes of TCH to permit standardized postoperative management and emergent retrieval of the balloon in the event of preterm labor or premature rupture of membranes prior to the scheduled removal.

Balloon retrieval will be planned at between 32+0/7 and 34+6/7 weeks at the discretion of the FETO center. The patient will need to commit to remaining in 30 minutes of Texas Children's Hospital Pavilion for Women until the balloon is retrieved.

After removal of the balloon, patients will have the choice of delivering at Texas Children's Hospital- Women's Pavilion with the CDH managed and repaired at TCH, or returning to their obstetrician for delivery with subsequent repair of the CDH by the pediatric surgeons at their referring facility. Given the severity of the CDH, the baby will need to be delivered in a facility that has the capability of immediate pediatric surgery services.

Study Design

Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment, Masking: Open Label


Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia


Goldballoon Detachable Balloon and delivery microcatheter


Baylor College of Medicine/Texas Children's Hospital
United States




Baylor College of Medicine

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2015-05-04T11:31:44-0400

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

The type of DIAPHRAGMATIC HERNIA caused by TRAUMA or injury, usually to the ABDOMEN.

Protrusion of abdominal structures into the THORAX as a result of congenital or traumatic defects in the respiratory DIAPHRAGM.

STOMACH herniation located at or near the diaphragmatic opening for the ESOPHAGUS, esophageal hiatus. When the ESOPHAGOGASTRIC JUNCTION is above the DIAPHRAGM, it is called a SLIDING HIATAL HERNIA. When the ESOPHAGOGASTRIC JUNCTION is below the DIAPHRAGM, it is called a PARAESOPHAGEAL HIATAL HERNIA.

A HERNIA due to an imperfect closure or weakness of the umbilical ring. It appears as a skin-covered protrusion at the UMBILICUS during crying, coughing, or straining. The hernia generally consists of OMENTUM or SMALL INTESTINE. The vast majority of umbilical hernias are congenital but can be acquired due to severe abdominal distention.

A congenital abnormality characterized by the elevation of the DIAPHRAGM dome. It is the result of a thinned diaphragmatic muscle and injured PHRENIC NERVE, allowing the intra-abdominal viscera to push the diaphragm upward against the LUNG.

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