Prenatal diagnosis of congenital diaphragmatic hernia: Timing of visceral herniation and outcome

Moshe Bronshtein, Nathan Lewit, Polo O. Sujov, Imad R. Makhoul, Shraga Blazer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ultrasonographic prenatal diagnosis of congenital diaphragmatic hernia is well established, but the correlation of prenatal detection with clinical outcome remains unclear. We report our experience with 15 cases of prenatally diagnosed congenital diaphragmatic hernia. Seven fetuses were detected at 14–16 weeks' gestation; two with a normal sonographic study at 15 and 16 weeks' gestation showed visceral herniation at 21 and 23 weeks, respectively. In the remaining six cases, a diaphragmatic hernia was found at ultrasonography after 24 weeks' gestation, while previous sonographic studies had been normal. All seven fetuses in whom a diaphragmatic hernia was diagnosed before 16 weeks' gestation were aborted; four of them had severe malformations or karyotype abnormalities. The two neonates who were diagnosed at 21 and 23 weeks' gestation died after surgical repair. In contrast, all six infants whose visceral herniation was diagnosed after 24 weeks of gestation, and whose sonographic studies at 15–23 weeks had been normal, are alive and well after corrective surgery. The results of this series suggest that the timing of visceral herniation into the thoracic cavity is a major indicator of the prognosis of these fetuses and that herniation that occurs after 25 weeks of gestation carries a favourable clinical outcome. Normal sonographic studies during the first half of pregnancy do not exclude the subsequent development of congenital diaphragmatic hernia, raising questions about the advisability of repeat examinations at later stages of gestation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)695-698
Number of pages4
JournalPrenatal Diagnosis
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • diaphragmatic hernia
  • prenatal diagnosis
  • ultrasonography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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