Percutaneous in utero thoracoamniotic shunt creation for fetal thoracic abnormalities leading to nonimmune hydrops

Sarah B. White, Sean M. Tutton, William S. Rilling, Randall S. Kuhlmann, Erika L. Peterson, Thomas R. Wigton, Mary B. Ames

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose To describe a transabdominal, transuterine Seldinger-based percutaneous approach to create a shunt for treatment of fetal thoracic abnormalities. Materials and Methods Five fetuses presented with nonimmune fetal hydrops secondary to fetal thoracic abnormalities causing severe mass effect. Under direct ultrasound guidance, an 18-gauge needle was used to access the malformation. Through a peel-away sheath, a customized pediatric transplant 4.5-F double J ureteral stent was advanced; the leading loop was placed in the fetal thorax, and the trailing end was left outside the fetal thorax within the amniotic cavity. Results Seven thoracoamniotic shunts were successfully placed in five fetuses; one shunt was immediately replaced because of displacement during the procedure, and another shunt was not functioning at follow-up requiring insertion of a second shunt. All fetuses had successful decompression of the thoracic malformation, allowing lung reexpansion and resolution of hydrops. Three of five mothers had meaningful (> 7 d) prolongation of their pregnancies. All pregnancies were maintained to > 30 weeks (range, 30 weeks 1 d-37 weeks 2 d). There were no maternal complications. Conclusions A Seldinger-based percutaneous approach to draining fetal thoracic abnormalities is feasible and can allow for prolongation of pregnancy and antenatal lung development and ultimately result in fetal survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)889-894
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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