Foetal therapies and their influence on preterm birth.Semin Immunopathol. 2020 Aug; 42(4):501-514.SI
Foetal therapy aims to improve perinatal survival or to prevent severe long-term handicap. Foetal medicine opens a new territory by treating the foetus as a patient. The mother has nothing to gain in terms of health benefits, yet she is inherently also undergoing treatment. In utero foetal interventions can be divided into ultrasound-guided minimally invasive procedures, fetoscopic procedures and open hysterotomy procedures, which carry an inherent risk of ruptured membranes and preterm birth. In this review, we summarise the conditions that may benefit from foetal therapy and review the current therapies on offer, each with their associated risk of ruptured membrane and preterm birth. We also look into some risk limiting and preventative strategies to mitigate these complications.