OBJECTIVES: To describe trends in incidence, associated anomalies, clinical outcomes and sensitivity of prenatal diagnosis for congenital malformations of the diaphragm in the West Midlands Region between 1995 and 2000. METHODS: Information was retrieved from a population-based register of major congenital malformations in a health region of England, the West Midlands Congenital Anomaly Register (WMCAR), between 1995 and 2000. RESULTS: One hundred and sixty-one confirmed cases of congenital malformations of the diaphragm were notified from 396 577 births. This gives an incidence of 4.1 per 10,000 births. After natural losses and terminations, the incidence at birth was 2.9 per 10,000 registered births. For live-born cases, the infant mortality rate was 317 per 1000 births. 47% of the cases had additional structural or chromosomal anomalies; the infant mortality rate for these complex cases was 533 per 1000, an increased relative risk of 2.37 compared with isolated lesions. 66% of the cases were diagnosed prenatally, 51% of isolated lesions and 84% of complex cases. Fourteen prenatally diagnosed cases (12%) were false-positives; however, 11 of these cases had other significant pathology. These 14 cases were not included in the 161 confirmed cases. CONCLUSION: Congenital malformations of the diaphragm remain associated with considerable infant mortality. Most cases are now diagnosed before birth and the prognosis is adversely affected by the presence of other structural or chromosomal anomalies. This presents significant challenges for those involved in counselling the parents of affected fetuses.
- prenatal diagnosis
- congenital diaphragmatic hernia