Fetal and Maternal Medicine Review

Research Article

FETAL ANAESTHESIA: IS THIS NECESSARY FOR FETOSCOPIC THERAPY?

MARC VAN DE VELDEa1 c1, FREDERIK DE BUCKa1, TIM VAN MIEGHEMa2, LEONARDO GUCCIARDOa2, PHILIP DE KONINCKa2 and JAN DEPRESTa2

a1 Department of Anaesthesiology, University Hospitals Gasthuisberg, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium.

a2 Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University Hospitals Gasthuisberg, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium.

Since Robinson and Gregory demonstrated the need to administer analgesia to preterm infants and the safety of such anaesthestic techniques in this specific patient population, pain in neonates and adequate analgesia have drawn more and more attention. Thanks to the outstanding work by Anand et al, it became increasingly clear that premature infants experience stress during invasive procedures and that as a consequence long-term neurodevelopmental status may be affected. Fetuses also demonstrate a stress response. Fetal analgesia can be administered efficiently, eliminating the fetal stress response. However, it remains unclear whether this results in improved neurodevelopment and improved long term outcome.

Correspondence:

c1 Marc Van De Velde, Director Obstetric Anaesthesia and Extra Muros Anaesthesia, Associate Professor of Anaesthesia, Department of Anaesthesiology, University Hospitals Gasthuisberg, Herestraat 49, B – 3000 Leuven, Belgium. Email: marc.vandevelde@uz.kuleuven.ac.be