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The field of fetal intervention and fetal surgery is relatively new and continues to develop rapidly. Additionally, many of the conditions we care for are uncommon. To that end, participating in ongoing research to improve our understanding of these conditions and their treatment remains a high priority for the UNCH Fetal Care Center. Our providers both lead and participate in local, regional, and national research studies in the field of fetal medicine, many of which are listed here.
While your individualized care is always our first priority, you may be invited to participate in research studies that apply to your family. Many of these studies are ‘observational’ only and do not determine care plans but allow the researchers to monitor conditions over time.


Current Research

• fMMC Consortium Registry

(Site PI: William Goodnight, MD)
Following the completion of the MOMS trial, North American fetal centers who are performing fetal surgery for spina bifida developed a pregnancy registry with the goal to monitor the pregnancy outcomes with fetal surgery. Your care will not be determined by inclusion in the registry, but your participation will potentially allow those performing fetal surgery for spina bifida to develop a greater understanding of the optimal care for these families.


• Complicated Monochorionic Twin Pregnancy Registry

(PI William Goodnight, MD)
Conditions that are unique to identical twin and shared placenta pregnancies are very rare and can result in significant complications to the babies. The North American Fetal Therapy Network sponsors an international registry including conditions that are unique to monochorionic pregnancies, such as twin twin transfusion, twin reversed arterial perfusion, conjoined twins and monoamniotic twins. This registry which includes more than 30 US and Canadian Centers collects anonymous pregnancy care and outcome information from these pregnancies and conductions analysis of this data to help improve the care for these conditions. If you have a monochorionic twin pregnancy with any of these complications, you may be invited to participate in this registry. As a registry, participation does not influence the care your care team provides, only it will allow researchers to follow the outcomes and management of these rare conditions.


• The GOOD Study: Gastroschisis Outcomes of Delivery (GOOD) Study

(site investigators: William Goodnight, MD, Adesola Akinkuotu, MD).
Some doctors think that pregnancies complicated by gastroschisis should deliver early, while others think that moms should carry the baby until the mother begins labor. There are risks and benefits to both times of delivery, and no scientific data exists to show if one delivery method is better than the other. The GOOD Study is designed to answer the question: should moms of a baby with gastroschisis deliver early or carry their babies closer to term? To that end, patients with a pregnancy with a baby with gastroschisis and no other complications who elect to participate in the GOOD Study will be randomly assigned to delivery at 35 weeks or 38 weeks into the pregnancy. The prenatal care is not determined by the study otherwise and if the pregnancy condition changes, your provider will determine the optimal time for delivery.


• Outcomes of Gastroschisis in North Carolina

(PI Adesola Akinkuotu, MD)


• Isolated Midtrimester Urinary Tract Silatation


Current Publications

Fetal Interventions in the Setting of COVID-19 Pandemic: Statement from the North American Fetal Therapy Network (NAFTNet).

Bahtiyar MO, Baschat A, Deprest J, Emery S, Goodnight W, Johnson A, McCullough L, Moldenhauer J, Ryan G, Tsao K, Van Mieghem T, Wagner A, Zaretsky M; NAFTNet.
Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2020 Apr 26

Cost of prenatal versus postnatal myelomeningocele closure for both mother and child at 1 year of life.

Kessler BA, Catalino MP, Quinsey C, Goodnight W, Elton S. Neurosurg Focus. 2019 Oct 1;47(4):E15. doi: 10.3171/2019.7.FOCUS19417. PMID: 31574469

Thirty-day medical and surgical readmission following prenatal versus postnatal myelomeningocele repair.

Cools M, Northam W, Goodnight W, Mulvaney G, Elton S, Quinsey C. Neurosurg Focus. 2019 Oct 1;47(4):E14. doi: 10.3171/2019.7.FOCUS19355. PMID: 31574468

Subsequent pregnancy outcomes after open maternal-fetal surgery for myelomeningocele.

Goodnight WH, Bahtiyar O, Bennett KA, Emery SP, Lillegard JB, Fisher A, Goldstein R, Jatres J, Lim FY, McCullough L, Moehrlen U, Moldenhauer JS, Moon-Grady AJ, Ruano R, Skupski DW, Thom E, Treadwell MC, Tsao K, Wagner AJ, Waqar LN, Zaretsky M; fMMC Consortium sponsored by NAFTNet. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2019 May;220(5):494.e1-494.e7. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2019.03.008. Epub 2019 Mar 15. PMID: 30885769

Spontaneous Posterior Uterine Rupture in Twin-Twin Transfusion Syndrome.

Smid MC, Waltner-Toews R, Goodnight W. AJP Rep. 2016 Mar;6(1):e68-70. doi: 10.1055/s-0035-1566243. Epub 2015 Nov 16.PMID:26929874

Current Selection Criteria and Perioperative Therapy Used for Fetal Myelomeningocele Surgery.

Moise KJ Jr, Moldenhauer JS, Bennett KA, Goodnight W, Luks FI, Emery SP, Tsao K, Moon-Grady AJ, Moore RC, Treadwell MC, Vlastos EJ, Wetjen NM. Obstet Gynecol. 2016 Mar;127(3):593-7. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000001296. PMID:26855109

Monochorionic diamniotic twin pregnancy: timing and duration of sonographic surveillance for detection of twin-twin transfusion syndrome.

Carver A, Haeri S, Moldenhauer J, Wolfe HM, Goodnight W. J Ultrasound Med. 2011 Mar;30(3):297-301. PMID:21357550

Ultrasound prediction of birthweight and growth restriction in fetal gastroschisis.

Chaudhury P, Haeri S, Horton AL, Wolfe HM, Goodnight WH. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2010 Oct;203(4):395.e1-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2010.06.030. Epub 2010 Aug 17. PMID:20723876



The members of the care team at the UNCH Fetal Care Center are actively involved in national organizations dedicated to the care of the fetal patient. This involvement ensures that our team provides you with the most current and available treatment as well as allows us to participate in ongoing research and education for these rare conditions. These organizations are also good resources for additional patient information.


fMMC Consortium 

Fetal Therapy Nurse Network 

Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine  


The UNC Fetal Care Center is a member of The North American Fetal Therapy Network (NAFTNet). The primary goal of NAFTNet is to provide an umbrella organization to assist the various medical centers that practice fetal medicine, to promote cooperation among these centers and to foster research in the field of fetal therapy.