Objectives: To establish in infants with gastroschisis whether outcome is different when comparing a prenatal diagnosis with a diagnosis only at birth with the intention to develop a prenatal surveillance protocol. Intestinal atresia established after birth and preterm versus term delivery were studied as risk factors. Study design: All 24 fetuses and 9 infants diagnosed with gastroschisis and referred to our tertiary center between January 1991 and June 2003 were studied retrospectively. Results: The infants of the prenatal subset delivered at our tertiary center and 18 survived. There were two pregnancy terminations, three intrauterine deaths at 19, 33 and 36 weeks respectively and one neonatal death. All nine infants in the postnatal subset survived. Eight were out born and one was delivered at our tertiary center. Prenatal bowel dilatation did not correlate with outcome. Between the prenatal and postnatal subset no significant difference in outcome of live-born infants was established. For four infants with intestinal atresia a significant difference was demonstrated for induction of preterm labour (P < 0.05), duration of parenteral nutrition (P < 0.01), number of additional surgical procedures (P < 0.001) and length of hospital stay (P < 0.01). The fifteen infants born prior to 37 weeks of gestation spent a significantly longer period in hospital compared to those delivered at term. When the cases with bowel atresia were excluded this difference was no longer present. Five of the 33 cases were diagnosed with associated anomalies which mainly involved the urinary tract. Conclusion: Neonatal outcome of live born infants following a prenatal diagnosis of gastroschisis is not different from a diagnosis at birth. The presence of intestinal atresia is the most important prognostic factor for morbidity. The supplemental value of prenatal diagnosis to the outcome of infants with gastroschisis may be in the prevention of unnecessary intrauterine death and detection of intestinal complications. A proposed surveillance protocol for fetuses with gastroschisis focused on intrauterine signs of pending distress such as a dilated stomach, intra abdominal bowel dilatation with peristalsis, notches in the umbilical artery Doppler signal, development of polyhydramnios and an abnormal CTG registration may improve outcome.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Fetal outcome, Fetal surveillance, Gastroschisis, Intestinal atresia, Prenatal diagnosis
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejogrb.2007.10.008, hdl.handle.net/1765/29724
Journal European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology
Cohen-Overbeek, T.E, Hatzmann, T.R, Steegers-Theunissen, R.P.M, Hop, W.C.J, Wladimiroff, J.W, & Tibboel, D. (2008). The outcome of gastroschisis after a prenatal diagnosis or a diagnosis only at birth. Recommendations for prenatal surveillance. European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, 139(1), 21–27. doi:10.1016/j.ejogrb.2007.10.008