In utero lysis of amniotic bands

R. A. Quintero, W. J. Morales, J. Phillips, C. S. Kalter, J. L. Angel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Scopus citations


Amniotic band syndrome is a sporadic condition that occurs in approximately 1:1200 to 1:15,000 live births and that may result in amputations, constrictions and other deformities of the fetus. Although some cases present with congenital anomalies that are beyond surgical repair, a selected group of fetuses may show isolated limb constriction. It has been speculated that, without treatment, amputation or severe dysfunction of the limb may occur. Despite these potential complications, surgical treatment for this selected group of fetuses has not been previously performed. We report two cases that were successfully treated using novel minimally invasive surgical techniques. The cases involved fetuses with amniotic band syndrome with associated limb constriction in which the amniotic band was surgically interrupted to avoid spontaneous amputation of the extremity. Adequate blood flow distal to the obstruction was preserved and significant functional improvement of the extremity occurred in both cases, preserving the limbs. These cases represent the first prenatal surgical intervention successfully used to treat constricting amniotic bands in humans. In addition, these cases represent the first time that a non-lethal fetal entity has been surgically treated in utero. The results of this innovative therapy will encourage the efforts to continue developing minimally invasive techniques for the correction of birth defects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)316-320
Number of pages5
JournalUltrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1997


  • Amniotic band syndrome
  • Birth defects
  • Endoscopy
  • Fetal surgery
  • Operative fetoscopy
  • Ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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