Fetal hydrothorax refers to the accumulation of fluid within the chest of a fetus. This fluid may be in the space between the lungs and the chest wall (pleural space) or within the substance of the lung or chest masses. Because the chest is an enclosed space, the presence of fluid can result in compression of the lungs and even displace the heart.
Compression of the lungs can interfere with normal development. When this occurs, the lungs may not allow oxygen intake at the normal level, called pulmonary hypoplasia. Displacement of the fetal heart can also occur and interfere with the ability of the heart to receive and pump blood, leading to possible heart failure. When this progresses to cause fluid accumulation in other parts of the fetal body, it is known as fetal hydrops.
Fetal Hydrothorax: Why Choose Johns Hopkins
- We understand the urgency involved with treating a fetus with a fetal hydrothorax diagnosis. Our care team is available to take your call at any time and will see you as soon as possible.
- The first step in the treatment of fetal hydrothorax is a detailed ultrasound examination that evaluates the fetus for any signs of underlying conditions that may have caused hydrothorax.
- After treatment for fetal hydrothorax, our patients will have continued access to the most advanced multidisciplinary care at Johns Hopkins, including our fetal, maternal and pediatric specialties.
Rely on the expertise of our physicians to help you treat and manage fetal hydrothorax.
Joint Appointment in Surgery
Director, Center for Fetal Therapy
Assistant Professor of Surgery
Associate Professor of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Director of Obstetric Anesthesia