Outcome of fetal pleural effusions treated by thoracoamniotic shunting

R. P. Smith, S. Illanes, M. L. Denbow, P. W. Soothill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


Objective: Fetal pleural effusions are uncommon, and treatment options for moderate or severe effusions include drainage and thoracoamniotic shunting. However, relatively few records of effusions treated by thoracoamniotic shunting are available in the literature, so our objective was to study the outcome after thoracoamniotic shunting in our unit. Methods: We searched the database of our tertiary fetal medicine unit for all cases of fetal pleural effusion treated by thoracoamniotic shunting between 1997 and 2003 inclusive, and studied the maternal and neonatal records. Results: Ninety-two cases of fetal pleural effusion were studied, of which 21 had undergone a thoracoamniotic shunt. Sixteen of these 21 fetuses (76%) had associated hydrops, of which seven (44%) survived and, of the five (24%) without associated hydrops, three (60%) survived. There were two procedure-related losses. No shunted cases were associated with abnormal karyotype or proven maternal infection, but it is probable that three cases had been caused by an underlying genetic syndrome. Conclusion: The survival of fetuses with severe pleural effusions after thoracoamniotic shunting in this study was 48%. Copyright
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)63-66
Number of pages4
JournalUltrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Chylothorax
  • Fetus
  • Hydrops
  • Hydrothorax
  • Pleural effusion
  • Shunt


Dive into the research topics of 'Outcome of fetal pleural effusions treated by thoracoamniotic shunting'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this