ernia. Intrauterine reparative procedures are associated with a high complication rate. The development of less complex operations to reduce the degree of fetal lung hypoplasia may improve neonatal survival. Our objective was to investigate the effectiveness of an iatrogenic gastroschisis in reducing fetal pulmonary hypoplasia in a sheep model with an artificially created diaphragmatic hernia. A left-sided diaphragmatic hernia (Bochdalek type) was created at 75 days’ gestation in an ovine fetal model during the pseudoglandular phase of lung development. At 110 days’ gestational age, a left-sided gastroschisis was created by excising part of the lower abdominal wall and buttressing the opening with a rubber ring. The fetus remained in utero until 135 days’ gestation, at which time it was sacrificed for autopsy. Histopathologic and morphometric studies were performed on the lungs. Ten animals had creation of a diaphragmatic hernia. Four underwent the second surgery to create a gastroschisis. One animal completed the entire protocol, 3 fetuses aborted after the second surgery. Autopsy confirmed effective decompression of the herniated abdominal contents from the chest into the amniotic cavity in all 4 cases. The lungs of the animal that completed the protocol were appropriately developed, while those fetuses that died soon after gastroschisis creation had severe pulmonary hypoplasia, mainly involving the left lung. Artificially induced diaphragmatic hernia, in the ovine fetus, causes severe pulmonary hypoplasia. An iatrogenic fetal gastroschisis allows the spontaneous decompression of herniated abdominal contents from the thorax, and may permit improved lung development.
- Congenital diaphragmatic hernia
- Hysterotomy incision
- Pulmonary hypoplasia
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Obstetrics and Gynecology