1Maternity and Perinatal Care Unit, Yamaguchi University Hospital, 2Department of Reproductive, Pediatric, and Infectious Science, Yamaguchi University School of Medicine
human fetus, prenatal intervention, primary pleural effusion, ultrasound
The natural course of primary fetal pleural effusion varies. Hypoplastic lung, hydrops fetalis, and neonatal respiratory disorder resulting from pressure on the pleural effusion, alone or in combination, develop in fetuses with pleural effusion, and their prognosis is poor. In some cases however, fetal and neonatal life is uneventful, and respiratory disorders do not develop. We propose a new index, the pleural fluid/thoracic area ratio, for assessing fetal pleural effusion. Change in the index clearly reflected the clinical condition in five cases that were treated with intervention for primary fetal pleural effusion. Pleural fluid/thoracic area ratio may prove useful in assessing fetal pleural effusion.