Fetal cystic hygroma. Cause and natural history

F. A. Chervenak, G. Isaacson, Karin Blakemore, W. R. Breg, J. C. Hobbins, R. L. Berkowitz, M. Tortora, K. Mayden, M. J. Mahoney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Fetal cystic hygromas are congenital malformations of the lymphatic system appearing as single or multiloculated fluid-filled cavities, most often about the neck. They are thought to arise from failure of the lymphatic system to communicate with the venous system in the neck. They often progress to hydrops and cause fetal death. In an effort to delineate the cause and natural history of this disorder, we studied 15 consecutive cases of nuchal hygroma detected prenatally by ultrasound. None of the 15 fetuses ultimately survived. Thirteen fetuses were hydropic at the time of diagnosis; 9 either died or were bradycardic in utero before abortion; one died a few hours after birth. Eleven fetuses (73%) had karyotypes consistent with Turner's syndrome, and an additional fetus with female genitalia had a 46.XY karyotype. Three fetuses had 46.XX karyotypes, and 2 of these had multiple malformations. When a hygroma is detected during fetal life, careful sonographic examination of the entire fetus, determination of the fetal karyotype, and an evaluation of the family history are indicated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)822-825
Number of pages4
JournalNew England Journal of Medicine
Volume309
Issue number14
StatePublished - 1983
Externally publishedYes

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Natural History
Fetus
Karyotype
Cystic Lymphangioma
Lymphatic System
Edema
Neck
Female Genitalia
Turner Syndrome
Fetal Death
Familial nuchal bleb
Cause of Death
Parturition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Chervenak, F. A., Isaacson, G., Blakemore, K., Breg, W. R., Hobbins, J. C., Berkowitz, R. L., ... Mahoney, M. J. (1983). Fetal cystic hygroma. Cause and natural history. New England Journal of Medicine, 309(14), 822-825.

Fetal cystic hygroma. Cause and natural history. / Chervenak, F. A.; Isaacson, G.; Blakemore, Karin; Breg, W. R.; Hobbins, J. C.; Berkowitz, R. L.; Tortora, M.; Mayden, K.; Mahoney, M. J.

In: New England Journal of Medicine, Vol. 309, No. 14, 1983, p. 822-825.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Chervenak, FA, Isaacson, G, Blakemore, K, Breg, WR, Hobbins, JC, Berkowitz, RL, Tortora, M, Mayden, K & Mahoney, MJ 1983, 'Fetal cystic hygroma. Cause and natural history', New England Journal of Medicine, vol. 309, no. 14, pp. 822-825.
Chervenak FA, Isaacson G, Blakemore K, Breg WR, Hobbins JC, Berkowitz RL et al. Fetal cystic hygroma. Cause and natural history. New England Journal of Medicine. 1983;309(14):822-825.
Chervenak, F. A. ; Isaacson, G. ; Blakemore, Karin ; Breg, W. R. ; Hobbins, J. C. ; Berkowitz, R. L. ; Tortora, M. ; Mayden, K. ; Mahoney, M. J. / Fetal cystic hygroma. Cause and natural history. In: New England Journal of Medicine. 1983 ; Vol. 309, No. 14. pp. 822-825.
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