Congenital High Airway Obstruction Syndrome

Also known as: CHAOS, congenital upper airway obstruction

What is congenital high airway obstruction syndrome?

If a fetus’s upper airway (windpipe -”trachea” or voice box- “larynx”) becomes blocked during intrauterine development, the problem is called congenital high airway obstruction syndrome, or CHAOS.
 

What causes congenital high airway obstruction syndrome? 

CHAOS is extremely rare. The cause of this birth defect is not known.
 

What are the signs/ symptoms of congenital high airway obstruction syndrome? 

CHAOS is a life-threatening condition. In the fetus, it presents as very large lungs filled with fluid, a flattened diaphragm, fluid in the abdomen, and signs of heart failure .which may develop and cause the death of the baby in the womb or shortly after birth, depending on its severity.
 

What are congenital high airway obstruction syndrome care options? 

During pregnancy the baby will require close monitoring and at birth a multidisciplinary team of pediatric specialists (neonatologist, pediatric surgeon and maternal-fetal specialist) may be needed to ensure the baby's ability to breath and survival. While the baby usually survives to birth, he/she may suffer from extreme difficulties breathing and survival may depend on the partial delivery of the baby by cesarean section while still being attached to the mother by the placental cord, during which time an artificial airway is established for the baby to breath through (EXIT). Once this is completed the baby is then fully delivered by the completion of the cesarean section.


Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 6/11/2018 2:29:41 PM

From the Newsdesk

Fetal Care Center Special Delivery Unit Expected to Open in Summer of 2019
We are pleased to announce the Fetal Care Center’s special delivery unit is expected to open in the summer of 2019. This special delivery unit will offer a smooth transfer of care and access to our network of pediatric subspecialists and our three pediatric intensive care units.
Bianca’s Journey to Being Pain Free
Bianca suffered from pain and a severe bowleg deformity for many years as a result of Blount’s disease, a growth disorder that affects the bones in children and young adults.