Fetal interventions for congenital renal anomalies

Ahmer Irfan, Elizabeth O’Hare, Eric Jelin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Congenital abnormalities of the kidney and urinary tract (CAKUT) represent 20% of prenatally diagnosed congenital abnormalities. Although the majority of these abnormalities do not require intervention either pre or postnatally, there is a subset of patients whose disease is so severe that it may warrant intervention prior to delivery to prevent morbidity and mortality. These cases consist of patients with moderate lower urinary tract obstruction (LUTO) in which vesicocentesis, shunting or cystoscopy are options and patients with early pregnancy renal anhydramnios (EPRA) in whom amnioinfusion therapy may be an option. The main causes of EPRA are congenital bilateral renal agenesis (CoBRA), cystic kidney disease (CKD) and severe LUTO. Untreated, EPRA is universally fatal secondary to anhydramnios induced pulmonary hypoplasia. The evidence regarding therapy for LUTO is limited and the stopped early PLUTO (Percutaneous Shunting in Lower Urinary Tract Obstruction) trial was unable to provide definitive answers about patient selection. Evidence for EPRA therapy is also scant. Serial amnioinfusions have shown promise in cases of EPRA due to CoBRA or renal failure and this treatment modality forms the basis of the ongoing NIH funded RAFT (Renal Anhydramnios Fetal Therapy) trial. At present, there is consensus that treatment for EPRA should only occur in the setting of a clinical trial.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1506-1517
Number of pages12
JournalTranslational Pediatrics
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2021


  • Anhydramnios
  • Bilateral renal agenesis
  • Renal anhydramnios fetal therapy (RAFT)
  • Vesicoamniotic shunting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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