Cystic Hygroma

When I was 11 weeks pregnant Ryan was diagnosed with a severe Cystic Hygroma. This is basically a block in the lymphatic system development and creates a fluid filled mass, usually at the back of the neck. 2mm is considered high normal, 3mm is considered high and Ryan's was 7.2mm. Its considered dangerous to the baby as the fluid may not stay localised at the back of the neck and therefore invade the vital organs causing fetal hydrops which is basically when the baby drowns. It is also a strong marker for chromosome and gene abnormalities and heart defects and its thought that the larger the CH the more severe the problem.
Luckily Ryan's CH amazingly resolved at about 20 weeks. While the danger of hydrops at that point had significantly decreased the "reason" for the CH to be there in the first place was still a concern. Many doctors put the statistics of the baby surviving the pregnancy at about 18% but many more think the numbers are closer to 10%. There is very little research done on how these babies with normal chromosomes turn out after the neonatal period.
See below for more info in CH's and my post on my pregnancy for more info on Ryan's specific journey with this very rare but frightening occurrence.


Kendra Morrow said…
I had my 20 week ultrasound today and they said my baby has a very severe case of CH and that at this point nothing could be done to save my baby. After taking some time to process what was said and lots of tears as it's my birthday I was wondering if you had any advice on what I should do next the thought of termination is something I will not do but I refuse to just sit around and wait for my babys heart to stop beating
marie clare said…
Kendra, so sorry you are going through this. I always thought the measurement for a CH indicating problems was only relevant between 11 - 15 weeks. That is if its a neck CH that indicates birth defects. There are other CH's that happen later in pregnancy but they can happen all over body and dont really indicate anything wrong with the baby but could be in a place that inhibits breathing, lung development etc. You need to get more info before you make any decisions. i found the drs push termination before they even have the full picture. Dont let them talk you into anything, go with your gut. Theres a chat board on CH on Babycenter, there are tons of success stories on there, check it out. Good luck, and God bless.

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