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OBJECTIVE: To examine the natural history and detailed outcome of antenatally diagnosed abdominal wall defects. METHODS: This was a retrospective review of the antenatal reports, pediatric surgery records and subsequent follow-up information of all cases of omphalocele and gastroschisis diagnosed in a 10-year period in our tertiary referral center. RESULTS: There were 109 cases of abdominal wall defects, including omphalocele in 67 cases and gastroschisis in 42 cases. Of the 67 cases of omphalocele there were 26 (39%) with chromosomal abnormalities and 22 (33%) underwent termination of pregnancy, mainly for associated structural abnormalities. Of the ongoing 19 cases there were five (26%) in-utero deaths, 12 (63%) survivors and two (11%) neonatal deaths, both associated with prematurity. Excluding chromosomal abnormalities, the survival rate in isolated omphalocele was 7/16 (44%) whilst it was 5/25 (20%) in those with associated abnormalities. Gastroschisis was isolated in 40 (95%) cases. Among these 40 isolated cases there were two (5%) terminations. Of the 38 ongoing cases, there were two (5%) in-utero deaths, and 36 (95%) live births. Four of the 36 liveborn infants (11%) died in the postoperative period owing to complications of small bowel atresia. CONCLUSIONS: Although only 18% of infants with antenatally diagnosed omphalocele were alive in the neonatal period, postoperative morbidity was low. The majority (90%) of fetuses with antenatally diagnosed gastroschisis survived to delivery, but the mortality in affected newborns was 11%.

Original publication




Journal article


Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol

Publication Date





266 - 270


Abdominal Wall, Abnormalities, Multiple, Chromosome Aberrations, Female, Fetal Death, Fetal Diseases, Gastroschisis, Gestational Age, Hernia, Umbilical, Humans, Infant, Newborn, Pregnancy, Prognosis, Retrospective Studies, Treatment Outcome, Ultrasonography, Prenatal