Purpose of review Congenital diaphragmatic hernia
(CDH) is a structural birth defect that results in significant neonatal morbidity and mortality. CDH occurs in 2–4 per 10 000 pregnancies, and despite meaningful advances in neonatal intensive care, the mortality rate in infants with isolated CDH is still 25–30%. In this review, we will present data on the molecular underpinnings of pathological lung development in CDH, prenatal diagnosis
, and prognostication in CDH cases, existing fetal therapy
modalities, and future directions.
Developments in the prenatal assessment and in-utero therapy of pregnancies complicated by congenital diaphragmatic hernia
are rapidly evolving. Although ultrasound has been the mainstay of prenatal diagnosis
, fetal MRI appears to be an increasingly important modality for severity classification. While fetal endoscopic tracheal occlusion
(FETO) may have a role in the prenatal management of severe CDH cases, it is possible that future therapeutic paradigms will incorporate adjunct medical interventions with either stem cells or sildenafil in order to address the vascular effects of CDH on the developing lung.
Both animal and human data have shown that the pathophysiological underpinnings of CDH are multifactorial, and it appears that future prenatal assessments and therapies will likely be as well.