The St. Louis Fetal Care Institute is now one of 28 medical centers in the United States and Canada to become a member of the North American Fetal Therapy Network (NAFTnet), which provides a system to foster collaborative research and develop fetal interventions to improve outcomes for babies diagnosed with fetal anomalies.
“The advanced fetal care and treatment provided by centers such as ours is a relatively new area of medicine. This ability to collaborate with other centers around North America will give us the opportunity to provide better care and more options for our moms and babies,” says Dr. Emanuel (Mike) Vlastos, a maternal-fetal medicine specialist who serves as director of the St. Louis Fetal Care Institute.
All NAFTnet member centers have a multi-disciplinary team of medical specialists that perform advanced diagnosis of, and in-utero fetal procedures for, fetal anomalies. These teams include maternal-fetal medicine specialists, pediatric surgeons, geneticists, cardiologists, anesthesiologists, fetal imaging specialists and advanced nurses.
The knowledge gained through the research of these centers is used to improve treatment options for fetal anomalies, such as twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, spina bifida (myelomeningocele), congenital diaphragmatic hernia and lung lesions.
NAFTnet currently hosts an international registry for in utero repair of spina bifda (myelomeningocele), serves as a sponsor of the International Fetal Cardiac Intervention Registry (IFCIR) and is co-sponsoring a study on the treatment of stage 1 twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome.