Fetal magnetic resonance imaging in isolated diaphragmatic hernia: volume of herniated liver and neonatal outcome

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Objective: We sought to use magnetic resonance (MR) imaging (MRI) to estimate percentage of fetal thorax occupied by lung, liver, and other abdominal organs in pregnancies with congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH). Study Design: This was a retrospective study of pregnancies with isolated CDH referred for MRI between August 2000 and June 2006. Four regions of interest were measured in the axial plane by an investigator blinded to neonatal outcome, and volumes were then calculated. The percentages of thorax occupied by lung, liver, and all herniated organs were then compared with neonatal outcomes. Results: Fifteen CDH fetuses underwent MRI at a median gestational age of 29 weeks. Liver herniation was found in 93%. When the liver occupied > 20% of the fetal thorax, neonatal deaths were significantly increased. Percentages of lung and other herniated organs were not associated with outcome. Conclusion: In our MR series of isolated CDH, neonatal deaths were significantly increased when > 20% of the fetal thorax was occupied by liver.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009



  • Congenital diaphragmatic hernia
  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • prenatal diagnosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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