Purpose: We describe our experience with fetuses diagnosed with life-threatening chest masses who were delivered by ex utero intrapartum treatment with placement on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (EXIT-to-ECMO). Methods: The first fetus presented with a cystic mediastinal mass and enlarging echogenic lungs. Bronchoscopic evaluation during ex utero intrapartum treatment (EXIT) revealed complete airway obstruction secondary to a carinal bronchogenic cyst. The second fetus presented with a massive left congenital cystic adenomatoid malformation. The EXIT procedure was performed because of significant mediastinal shift, severe compression of the normal lung parenchyma, and signs of fetal distress. Results: In both cases, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) was initiated while on placental support. The fetuses were then delivered, and a definitive resection of their thoracic lesions was successfully performed. There were no major perioperative complications. Both children made expedient recoveries without significant cardiopulmonary sequelae. Conclusion: To our knowledge, this is the first report describing the successful use of EXIT-to-ECMO as a bridge to definitive resection of large chest masses diagnosed in utero. EXIT-to-ECMO is a novel and effective management strategy for stabilizing patients with profound respiratory compromise secondary to congenital thoracic lesions.
- Bronchogenic cyst
- Congenital cystic adenomatoid malformation
- Ex utero intrapartum treatment
- Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health