The UCSF Hydrops Center of Excellence, a service of the Fetal Treatment Center, provides personalized, comprehensive care for hydrops fetalis. Our specialists have decades of experience with hydrops and work closely together to deliver cutting-edge prenatal and neonatal care, as well as novel in utero treatments.
A fetus with hydrops fetalis has an abnormal buildup of fluid under the skin, in the abdomen, or around the lungs or heart. Hydrops typically results from another medical condition that affects how the body manages fluid, such as a genetic disease, viral infection or birth defect. In many cases, standard testing can't identify the cause of hydrops, but our center's state-of-the-art imaging and sequencing techniques can find an explanation for one-third of cases unsolved by standard tests.
Hydrops carries a high risk of stillbirth, early delivery, and complications for the newborn and pregnant person. However, identifying the reason for hydrops during pregnancy can facilitate more effective counseling, focused prenatal care, opportunities for in utero interventions and improved care for your newborn.
Services we offer
Patients at the Hydrops Center of Excellence have access to the following tests and therapies.
- Personalized genetic sequencing to help determine the cause of the hydrops
- Genetic counseling to discuss test results and how they may affect current and future pregnancies
- Detailed prenatal imaging using advanced techniques, including fetal echocardiography, ultrasound and MRI
- State-of-the-art procedures for hydrops fetalis, including fetal shunts, laser therapy and in utero transfusions
- Novel fetal therapies currently undergoing evaluation through clinical trials, such as in utero enzyme replacement therapy
- Comprehensive perinatal care plans, including regular imaging tests during pregnancy, special considerations for delivery, subspecialists needed at delivery and anticipated treatments for newborns
- Mental health and emotional support from social workers and other specialty providers trained in care for families with difficult pregnancies and perinatal loss
Why choose UCSF
Our team has decades of experience diagnosing and treating pregnancies with hydrops, and includes internationally recognized experts from maternal-fetal medicine, genetics, radiology, pediatric surgery, neonatal medicine, pediatric cardiology and many other subspecialities. We apply innovative techniques to understand the details of each case, and we collaborate to pioneer and apply new methods of genetic testing, fetal imaging and in utero treatments. Our team works closely with every family that visits our center to provide the most comprehensive and personalized care possible.