Congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) is a major congenital anomaly of the neonates, characterized by the herniation of abdominal contents into the thoracic cavity during fetal life. This results in significant pulmonary hypertension and hypoxemia after birth, which responds poorly to therapeutic interventions. CDH is associated with high morbidity and mortality. The exact pathogenesis is not well understood, and genetic factors have been proposed. The management starts in utero, with antenatal diagnosis and identification of prenatal predictors for the outcomes, which help in the selection of cases suitable for fetal therapy. The postnatal management is complicated by the need for variable cardio-respiratory support and even extra corporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), before corrective surgery is undertaken. Improvement in the understanding of the pathophysiology of the underdeveloped lungs and pulmonary vessels has contributed to substantial progress in the management of CDH, which has translated into improved outcomes and survival. Still, many questions regarding CDH remain unanswered and the management is largely based on weak evidence.
Part of the book: Congenital Anomalies in Newborn Infants