Perinatal outcomes of fetal pleural effusion following thoracoamniotic shunting

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The aim is to evaluate perinatal outcomes of fetal pleural effusion after thoracoamniotic shunting.


This was a retrospective study of 68 singleton pregnancies with massive fetal pleural effusion that underwent thoracoamniotic shunting between 1999 and 2012 at Asan Medical Center, Seoul, Korea. Through a review of medical records, we investigated perinatal outcomes according to the presence of fetal hydrops and identified prognostic factors by stepwise multivariate logistic regression analysis.


Of the 68 pregnancies, three were lost to follow-up and two fetuses died in utero. The median gestational age at shunting was 28.3 weeks (range, 18.5–34.1 weeks). Of the 65 fetuses, 50 (76.9%) were hydropic, of which hydrops resolved following shunting in 29 fetuses (58.0%). Among the 63 live births, the median gestational age at delivery was 33.6 weeks (range, 26.2–40.0 weeks), with 36 fetuses (57.1%) delivered preterm. The overall survival rate was 75.4% (49/65), and in a subgroup analysis, the survival rate was highest for non-hydropic fetuses (14/15, 93.3%), followed by fetuses whose hydrops resolved (25/29, 86.2%) and remained after shunting (10/21, 47.6%).


Thoracoamniotic shunting can be helpful for fetuses with massive pleural effusion. While fetal hydrops can occur in such cases, perinatal outcomes can be improved by successful shunting. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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