Purpose: We compared the efficacy of thoracoscopic repair (TR) with that of open repair (OR) for neonatal congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH). Methods: The subjects of this multicenter retrospective cohort study were 524 infants with left-sided isolated CDH, diagnosed prenatally, and treated at one of 15 participating hospitals in Japan between 2006 and 2018. The outcomes of infants who underwent TR and those who underwent OR were compared, applying propensity score matching. Results: During the study period, 57 infants underwent TR and 467 underwent OR. Ten of the infants who underwent TR required conversion to OR for technical difficulties and these patients were excluded from the analysis. The survival rate at 180 days was similar in both groups (TR 98%; OR 93%). Recurrence developed after TR in 3 patients and after OR in 15 patients (TR 7%, OR 3%, p = 0.40). The propensity score was calculated using the following factors related to relevance of the surgical procedure: prematurity (p = 0.1), liver up (p < 0.01), stomach position (p < 0.01), and RL shunt (p = 0.045). After propensity score matching, the multivariate analysis adjusted for severity classification and age at surgical treatment revealed a significantly shorter hospital stay (odds ratio 0.50) and a lower incidence of chronic lung disease (odds ratio 0.39) in the TR group than in the OR group. Conclusions: TR can be performed safely for selected CDH neonates with potentially better outcomes than OR.
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