Congenital diaphragmatic hernia - a Belgrade single center experience

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Objective:Though the outcome for children with congenital diaphragmal hernia (CDH) is improving, management of seriously compromised respiratory and cardiovascular function remains a great challenge. The aim of this study was to review a tertiary center experience in treating children with CDH.Design:Retrospective observational study from January 2005 to December 2014.Setting:Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) of University Children Hospital (UCH), Belgrade, Serbia.Patients:Children with CDH.Results:The CDH was diagnosed prenatally in 23% patients. An overall survival rate was 62%. Among those patients who underwent surgical repair 29 (90%) survived. There was statistically significant difference in survival rate between operated patients and total examined population (P=0.020). Prenatally diagnosed neonates with CDH had significantly lower survival rate comparing to those who were postnatally diagnosed (20% vs. 75%; P=0.002). Fatal outcome was more frequent in patients with small birth weight comparing to those with normal birth weight (67% vs. 30%; P=0.046).Conclusions:Our center survival rate for CDH is in accordance with other reported studies. Based on our experience there are potential points for further improvement. First, further increase of prenatal detection, planning for delivery, and coordinated transfer to tertiary institution, in order to avoid transfer of near death patients. Second, preoperative management in the NICU. This could be done by more uniform implementation of current consensual guidelines in monitoring, mechanical ventilation and circulatory support of these delicate patients, together with rationale use of newer therapeutic resources.

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