In utero congenital chylothorax treatment with fetal thoracoamniotic shunt: Case report


BACKGROUND: Fetal pleural effusions are a rare fetal anomaly that may result from congenital chylothorax. Severe cases lead to chest compression with resulting pulmonary hypoplasia and possible neonatal demise. Fetal thoracoamiontic shunt (TAS) placement may decrease the amount of pleural effusion and improve lung expansion.

CASE: A 30-year-old primigravida at 29 2/7 weeks’ gestation presented with fetal bilateral pleural effusions with no identifiable genetic or structural abnormalities. TAS placement accomplished decompression of the left fetal chest. The neonate was delivered at 33 3/7 weeks and required minimal respiratory support with no apparent long term complications at discharge.

CONCLUSION: This case demonstrated that fetal intervention with TAS placement can improve neonatal outcomes. Referral to an MFM specialist capable of TAS should be considered for isolated fetal bilateral pleural effusion.

*Corresponding Author: 

Dr. Dawn M. Hannah, D.O., Navicent Health Perinatal Associates, 840 Pine Street, Suite 990, Macon, GA 31201, USA. Tel.: +1 478 633 0404; Fax: +1 478 742 7292; E-mails: