We conducted a comprehensive evidence-based review on the epidemiology and current standard of care of gastroschisis management as well as the pathophysiology, rationale and feasibility of fetal therapy as a viable alternative. Gastroschisis is a periumbilical abdominal wall defect characterized by abdominal viscera herniation in utero. It affects 4 in 10 000 live births, but the prevalence has steadily increased in recent years. Gastroschisis is typically diagnosed on routine second-trimester ultrasound. The overall prognosis is favorable, but complex gastroschisis, which accounts for about 10% to 15% of cases, is associated with a higher mortality, significant disease burden and higher healthcare costs due to long- and short-term complications. The current standard of care has yet to be established but generally involves continued fetal surveillance and multidisciplinary perinatal care. Postnatal surgical repair is achieved with primary closure, staged silo closure or sutureless repair. Experimental animal studies have demonstrated the feasibility of in utero closure, antiinflammatory therapy and prenatal regenerative therapy. However, reports of early preterm delivery and amnioinfusion trials have failed to show any benefit in humans. Further experimental studies and human trials are necessary to demonstrate the potential benefit of fetal therapy in gastroschisis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynecology