Fetal Therapy

The Fetal Therapy SIG supports and advances the art and science of all aspects of in utero treatment of fetal disease to the benefit of our patients, both the fetus and the pregnant woman. It aims to provide a forum for all professionals involved in the field of fetal diagnosis and treatment, with the aim to advance our knowledge and skills. In particular, the SIG promotes interaction, discussion and exchange of ideas and opinions between the various specialists from all countries and continents involved in both clinical and basic science aspects of fetal treatment, including social and ethical aspects. The SIG supports and promotes the highest possible standards of research, and acknowledges the importance of international multicenter collaboration particularly in this field, given the relative rarity of each fetal disorder or anomaly. The SIG aims to play a role in promoting quality control initiatives in the field of fetal surgery, including the support of providing open access (internet) treatment and outcome data, and the use of appropriate statistical analysis of performance and competence of fetal surgeons and their centers.

SIG Topics of Discussion/Interest

  • Open Surgery
  • Gene Therapy
  • Twin-Twin Transfusion
  • Fetoscopy

Fetal Cardiac Intervention

Congenital heart disease (CHD) affects approximately 1% of all births every year. Of children born with CHD, 25% of them are considered severe and will require surgery or other invasive procedures within the first year of life. As prenatal imaging and diagnosis has improved, so too has our understanding of the natural history of many of these congenital malformations. In some cases, specific cardiac lesions have been shown to predictably evolve throughout pregnancy from causing mild-to-moderate impairment to more severe, even life-limiting disease. As with all types of fetal intervention, it is this subset of particularly severe cases with an opportunity for mid-gestation intervention, that are the focus of fetal cardiac intervention (FCI).

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A Global View of Fetal Surgery for Spina Bifida

The Fetal Therapy SIG aims to provide a central resource for health professionals and patients containing current information about the global availability of fetal surgery for Spina Bifida. This project was initiated with a 2017 questionnaire to a selection of fetal medicine and pediatric neurosurgery experts around the world who were known or thought to be providing this service. The responses to this survey are shown in our interactive map. We invite all units not included in this map to submit their details to the ISPD Fetal Therapy SIG for inclusion in this public resource. 

View the full map and details

Thanks to ISPD President Louise Wilkins-Haug for contributing the first of what we hope will be a robust series of ISPD Recorded Talks. These recordings will be featured on the ISPD Education YouTube channel and are voice-over recordings of PowerPoint presentations that will cover a variety of topics. We welcome your feedback and ideas for future recordings that will be added to our channel!

Fetal Cardiac Intervention
Louise Wilkins-Haug, MD, PhD
Division Director, Maternal Fetal Medicine and Reproductive Genetics

Professor, Harvard Medical School (USA)


SIG Leadership

Co-Chair: Anna David, PhD, FRCOG

Co-Chair: Lynn L. Simpson, MD

Meeting Minutes

12 July 2017 - San Diego, California, USA
13 July 2016 - Berlin, Germany (to be posted)
11 July 2016 - SIGs and Education Committee
​14 July 2015 - Washington, DC USA (to be posted)
23 July 2015 - Brisbane, Australia
05 June 2013 - Lisbon, Portugal
06 June 2012 - Miami, Florida, USA
04 June 2008 - Vancouver, Canada