Michał Krekora, Mariusz Grzesiak, Maciej Słodki, Ewa Gulczyńska, Iwona Maroszyńska, Maria Respondek-Liberska, Frank A. Chervenak and Laurence B. McCullough
INTRODUCTION: The aim of this study was to present our current practice of counseling patients and families with the most severe congenital malformations in the 3rd trimester of pregnancy and to develop practical guidelines for our team and involved healthcare/ socialcare professionals. MATERIAL & METHODS: It was a retrospective evaluation of a series of fetal cases in 2017 from single tertiary center. Maternal obstetrical medical history, time of prenatal detection of the anomaly (1st, 2nd or 3rd trimester), time between last fetal echocardiography and delivery, type of delivery, neonatal birth weight and time of neonatal demise. The total study group was subdived into early demise (during the 1st day after delivery) or late demise > 1st day after delivery. RESULTS: Mean maternal age was 30,4 +/- 5,6 years, and varied between 26 and 38 years. No chronic maternal diseases were found in medical history and no congenital malformations were present in previous children. All women had 1st trimester ultrasound, in 9 cases, it was reported as normal (with NT measurement < 2 mm), in 2 cases extracardiac abnormalities were detected: diaphragmatic hernia and omphalocele ( in both fetal karyotype 46,XY). In nine cases, the abnormalities were detected in midgestation and with maternal wish to continue the pregnancies. There were 8 neonatal deaths within 60 minutes after delivery, including one intrapartum death and 3 “late” neonatal deaths in the intensive care unit (on 12th, 21st and 22nd day). We stress upon the prenatal team approach and counseling of future parents, in order to prepare them for poor neonatal outcome. CONCLUSIONS: 1. In the most severe cases when fetal or neonatal demise was suspected, the two different opinions of specialists might not be enough and a third opinion should be recommended before final decision. 2. A Fetal Team of specialists is necessary in cases of expected fetal/neonatal demise in order to prepare a written report of recommended perinatal management for all sides involved in this difficult problem.