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Thoraco-amniotic shunting for fetal pleural effusion--a case series.Fetal pleural effusion is a rare occurrence, with an incidence of 1 per 10-15,000 pregnancies. The prognosis is related to the underlying cause and is often poor. There is increasing evidence that in utero therapy with thoraco-amniotic shunting improves prognosis by allowing lung expansion thereby preventing hydrops and pulmonary hypoplasia. This is a review of all cases of fetal pleural effusion managed over an eight year period the National Maternity Hospital Dublin. Over the nine year period there were 21 cases of fetal pleural effusion giving an overall incidence of 1 per 9281 deliveries. Of these, 15 underwent thoraco-amniotic shunting. There were associated anomalies diagnosed in 5 (33%) of cases. The overall survival in our cohort was 53%. The presence of hydrops was a poor prognostic factor, with survival in cases with hydrops of 33% (3/9) compared to 83% (5/6) in those cases without associated hydrops.