Pediatric Radiology

, Volume 38, Issue 3, pp 344–347 | Cite as

MR imaging appearance of laryngeal atresia (congenital high airway obstruction syndrome): unique course in a fetus

  • Shigeko KuwashimaEmail author
  • Kazuhiro Kitajima
  • Yasushi Kaji
  • Hiroshi Watanabe
  • Yoshiyuki Watabe
  • Hiroshi Suzumura
Case Report


Congenital high airway obstruction syndrome (CHAOS) is a rare life-threatening syndrome. Most cases are diagnosed prenatally by US. We report a fetus with this syndrome that showed a unique course revealed on MRI. Ultrasonography at 22 weeks demonstrated that the fetus had ascites and bilaterally enlarged hyperechoic lungs. Congenital infection, congenital cystic adenomatoid malformation or CHAOS was suspected. Subsequent MRI performed at 24 weeks demonstrated bilaterally enlarged high-signal lungs, dilated bronchi, massive ascites, subcutaneous oedema and polyhydramnios. MRI confirmed the diagnosis of CHAOS. A second MRI at 35 weeks showed that the bilateral lung enlargement, ascites, oedema and polyhydramnios had resolved, but that the appearance of the airway was unchanged. The infant was delivered by caesarean section at 38 weeks of gestation and immediate tracheostomy was performed. This spontaneous regression was explained by a tracheo-oesophageal fistula that may have decreased the intrathoracic pressure.


Fetus Congenital high airway obstruction MRI 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shigeko Kuwashima
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kazuhiro Kitajima
    • 1
  • Yasushi Kaji
    • 1
  • Hiroshi Watanabe
    • 2
  • Yoshiyuki Watabe
    • 3
  • Hiroshi Suzumura
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of RadiologyDokkyo Medical UniversityMibu, Shimotsuga-gunJapan
  2. 2.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyDokkyo Medical UniversityMibuJapan
  3. 3.Department of PediatricsDokkyo Medical UniversityMibuJapan

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