Prenatally diagnosed congenital diaphragmatic hernia: optimal mode of delivery?

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To evaluate if the delivery mode of infants with prenatally diagnosed congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) affects the outcome.


Data from the CDH Study Group database of infants with prenatal diagnosis between 2001-2015 were divided into four delivery mode groups: vaginal spontaneous, vaginal induced, elective caesarean section, and emergent caesarean section. Outcomes were analyzed in relation to the time of day of delivery and the gestational age at birth.


A total of 3906 cases of prenatally diagnosed CDH were assessed, with an overall survival of 64%. There were no differences in patient characteristics, requirement for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, length of hospital stay or intubation, requirement for O2 at 30 days or overall survival. The time of day at birth did not affect the outcome. There was no difference in outcome between the different delivery modes at similar gestational age (GA) at birth, with worse outcomes at lower GA.


Neither the mode nor time of delivery seems to affect the overall outcome for patients with prenatally diagnosed CDH. Outcome is strongly associated with the GA at birth.

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