Professional background

Jan Deprest is a leading international fetal surgeon who works two days a week at UCLH as a consultant and at UCL as a professor of obstetrics and gynaecology.

At UCL he works in the Institute for Women's Health and the Translational Imaging Group. His home institution is at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven and its University Hospitals Leuven (Belgium). Professor Deprest is currently the academic chair of the Department of Development and Regeneration and director of the Centre for Surgical Technologies.

Clinically he is the director of the fetal surgery programme in Leuven. He trained in fetal medicine in Leuven (Belgium), St George’s Hospital London (UK), Leiden (Holland) and attended the programme at Children’s Hospital Philadelphia (PA, USA). He established the Eurofoetus consortium, which is dedicated to the development of instruments and techniques for minimally invasive fetal and placental surgery. The Leuven Fetal Medicine Team focuses on antenatal modulation of lung development, e.g. for pulmonary hypoplasia due to congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) as well as for bronchopulmonary dysplasia. He has headed several clinical studies dedicated to the prenatal prediction of survival of fetuses with isolated CDH using genetic testing, ultrasound and fetal MRI imaging. He developed a percutaneous method for fetoscopic placement of a balloon into the fetal trachea (FETO). In a European task force together with the University of Barcelona (Hospital Clinic) and London (King’s College Hospital) the team performed over 200 such procedures by 2009.

This group and other centres, including UCLH, are now conducting a world-wide randomised control clinical trial for left sided CDH. In Leuven a programme on fetal surgery to surgically close spina bifida was started in 2012. This programme will now also be extended to UCLH to set up the first open fetal surgery centre in the UK. His translational research also investigates the application of amniotic fluid derived stem cells for treating fetuses or neonates with CDH or other lung disorders, fetal membrane wound healing and brain development in fetuses exposed to steroids or anesthesia.

Research interests

Fetal surgery, fetal therapy


  • Khalil A., Perry H., Duffy J., Reed K., Baschat A., Deprest J., Hecher K., Lewi L., Lopriore E., Oepkes D. (2017). Twin-Twin Transfusion Syndrome: study protocol for developing, disseminating, and implementing a core outcome set. Trials, 18 (1), 10.1186/s13063-017-2042-0, 325.
  • Barrett D., Kethees A., Thrasivoulou C., Mata A., Virasami A., Sebire N., Engels A., Deprest J., Becker D., David A., Chowdhury T. (2017). Trauma induces overexpression of Cx43 in human fetal membrane defects. Prenatal Diagnosis, 37 (9), 10.1002/pd.5104, 899-906.
  • Lesage F., Zia S., Jiménez J., Deprest J., Toelen J. (2017). The amniotic fluid as a source of mesenchymal stem cells with lung-specific characteristics. Prenatal Diagnosis, Ahead of print, 10.1002/pd.5147.
  • Van der Aa F., Deprest J., De Ridder D. (2017). Surgical Treatment of Female Stress Urinary Incontinence: Do Tapes Stand the Test of Time?. European Urology, 72 (4), S0302-2838(17)30403-7, 592-593.
  • De Coppi P., Deprest J. (2017). Regenerative medicine solutions in congenital diaphragmatic hernia. Seminars in Pediatric Surgery, 26 (3), S1055-8586(17)30048-3, 171-177.
  • Garcia-Peraza-Herrera L., Wenqi L., Gruijthuijsen C., Devreker A., Attilakos G., Deprest J., Vander Poorten E., Stoyanov D., Vercauteren T., Ourselin S. (2017). Real-Time Segmentation of Non-Rigid Surgical Tools based on Deep Learning and Tracking. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 10170, 84-95.
  • Baños N., Perez-Moreno A., Julià C., Murillo-Bravo C., Coronado D., Gratacos E., Deprest J., Palacio M. (2017). Quantitative analysis of the cervical texture by ultrasound in the mid-pregnancy is associated with spontaneous preterm birth. Ultrasound in Obstetrics & Gynecology, Ahead of print, 10.1002/uog.17525.
  • Chalouhi G., Morency A., De Vlieger R., Martinez J., Blanc T., Hodges R., Gueneuc A., Ryan G., Deprest J., Gratacos E., Ville Y. (2017). Prenatal incision of ureterocele causing bladder outlet obstruction - A multicenter case series. Prenatal Diagnosis, Ahead of print, 10.1002/pd.5091.
  • Palacio M., Bonet-Carne E., Cobo T., Perez-Moreno A., Sabrià J., Richter J., Kacerovsky M., Jacobsson B., García-Posada R., Bugatto F., Santisteve R., Vives À., Parra-Cordero M., Hernandez-Andrade E., Bartha J., Carretero-Lucena P., Tan K., Cruz-Martínez R., Burke M., Vavilala S., Iruretagoyena I., Delgado J., Schenone M., Vilanova J., Botet F., Yeo G., Hyett J., Deprest J., Romero R., Gratacos E. (2017). Prediction of Neonatal Respiratory Morbidity by Quantitative Ultrasound Lung Texture Analysis: A Multicenter Study. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 217 (2), S0002-9378(17)30427-1, 196.e1-196.e14.
  • Engels A., Debeer A., Russo F., Aertsen M., Aerts K., Miserez M., Deprest J., Lewi L., Devlieger R. (2017). Pericardio-Amniotic Shunting for Incomplete Pentalogy of Cantrell. Fetal Diagnosis and Therapy, 41 (2), 10.1159/000457122, 152-156.
  • Lesage F., Roman S., Pranpanus S., Ospitalieri S., Zia S., Jimenez J., MacNeil S., Toelen J., Deprest J. (2017). Modulation of the Early Host Response to Electrospun Polylactic Acid Matrices by Mesenchymal Stem Cells from the Amniotic Fluid. European Journal of Pediatric Surgery, Ahead of print, 10.1055/s-0037-1603522.
  • Lesage F., Pranpanus S., Bosisio F., Jacobs M., Ospitalieri S., Toelen J., Deprest J. (2017). Minimal modulation of the host immune response to SIS matrix implants by mesenchymal stem cells from the amniotic fluid. Hernia, Ahead of print, 10.1007/s10029-017-1635-6.
  • Nikitichev D., Shakir D., Chadebecq F., Tella M., Deprest J., Stoyanov D., Ourselin S., Vercauteren T. (2017). Medical-grade Sterilizable Target for Fluid-immersed Fetoscope Optical Distortion Calibration. Journal of Visualized Experiments (120), 10.3791/55298.
  • Van Calenbergh F., Joyeux L., Deprest J. (2017). Maternal-fetal surgery for myelomeningocele: some thoughts on ethical, legal, and psychological issues in a Western European situation. Child's Nervous System, 33 (8), 10.1007/s00381-017-3446-6, 1247-1252.
  • Russo F., Eastwood M., Keijzer R., Al-Maary J., Toelen J., Van Mieghem T., Deprest J. (2017). Lung size and liver herniation predict the need for extra corporeal membrane oxygenation but not pulmonary hypertension in isolated congenital diaphragmatic hernia: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Ultrasound in Obstetrics & Gynecology, 49 (6), 10.1002/uog.16000, 704-713.
  • Sindhwani N., Bamberg C., Famaey N., Callewaert G., Dudenhausen J., Teichgräber U., Deprest J. (2017). In vivo evidence of significant levator-ani muscle stretch on MR images of a live childbirth. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 217(2), S0002-9378(17)30515-X, 194.e1-194.e8.
  • Urbankova I., Sindhwani N., Callewaert G., Turri A., Rinkijevic R., Hympanova L., Feola A., Deprest J. (2017). In vivo documentation of shape and position changes of MRI-visible mesh placed in rectovaginal septum. Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, Ahead of print, S1751-6161(17)30336-3, 379-389.
  • Doel T., Shakir D., Pratt R., Aertsen M., Moggridge J., Bellon E., David A., Deprest J., Vercauteren T., Ourselin S. (2017). GIFT-Cloud: A data sharing and collaboration platform for medical imaging research. Computer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine, 139, S0169-2607(16)30654-X, 181-190.
  • Moon-Grady A., Baschat A., Cass D., Choolani M., Copel J., Crombleholme T., Deprest J., Emery S., Evans M., Luks F., Norton M., Ryan G., Tsao K., Welch R., Harrison M. (2017). Fetal Treatment 2017: The Evolution of Fetal Therapy Centers - A Joint Opinion from the International Fetal Medicine and Surgical Society (IFMSS) and the North American Fetal Therapy Network (NAFTNet). Fetal Diagnosis and Therapy, Ahead of print, 10.1159/000475929.
  • Bamberg C., Deprest J., Teichgräberg U., Güttler F., Dudenhausen J., Kalache K., Henrich W. (2017). Evaluating fetal head dimension changes during labor using open magnetic resonance imaging. Journal of Perinatal Medicine, 45 (3), 10.1515/jpm-2016-0005, 305-308.
  • Rayyan M., Rommel N., Tack J., Deprest J., Allegaert K. (2017). Esophageal Atresia: Future Directions for Research on the Digestive Tract. European Journal of Pediatric Surgery, 27 (4), 10.1055/s-0036-1587330, 306-312.
  • Kulo A., Smits A., Maleški? S., Van De Velde M., Van Calsteren K., de Hoon J., Verbesselt R., Deprest J., Allegaert K. (2017). Enantiomer-specific ketorolac pharmacokinetics in young women, including pregnancy and postpartum period. Bosnian Journal of Basic Medical Sciences, 17, 10.17305/bjbms.2016.1515, 54-60.
  • Chapple C., Cruz F., Deffieux X., Milani A., Arlandis S., Artibani W., Bauer R., Burkhard F., Cardozo L., Castro-Diaz D., Cornu J., Deprest J., Gunnemann A., Gyhagen M., Heesakkers J., Koelbl H., MacNeil S., Naumann G., Roovers J., Salvatore S., Sievert K., Tarcan T., Van der Aa F., Montorsi F., Wirth M., Abdel-Fattah M. (2017). Consensus Statement of the European Urology Association and the European Urogynaecological Association on the Use of Implanted Materials for Treating Pelvic Organ Prolapse and Stress Urinary Incontinence. European Urology, 72 (3), S0302-2838(17)30279-8, 424-431.
  • Done E., Gucciardo L., Van Mieghem T., Devriendt K., Allegaert K., Brady P., Devlieger R., De Catte L., Lewi L., Deprest J. (2017). Clinically relevant discordances identified after tertiary reassessment of fetuses with isolated congenital diaphragmatic hernia. Prenatal Diagnosis, 37 (9), 10.1002/pd.5060, 883-888.
  • Van Ginderdeuren E., Allegaert K., Decaluwé H., Deprest J., Debeer A., Proesmans M. (2017). Clinical Outcome for Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia at the Age of 1 Year in the Era of Fetal Intervention. Neonatology, Ahead of print (4), 10.1159/000479145, 365-371.
  • Callewaert G., Da Cunha M., Sindhwani N., Sampaolesi M., Albersen M., Deprest J. (2017). Cell-based secondary prevention of childbirth-induced pelvic floor trauma. Nature Reviews. Urology, 14 (6), 10.1038/nrurol.2017.42, 373-385.
  • Ferraris S., Shakir D., van der Merwe H., Gsell W., Deprest J., Vercauteren T. (2017). Bruker2nifti: Magnetic Resonance Images converter from Bruker. Journal of Open Source Software, 2 (16), 10.21105/joss.00354.
  • Rynkevic R., Martins P., Hympanova L., Almeida H., Fernandes A., Deprest J. (2017). Biomechanical and morphological properties of the multiparous ovine vagina and effect of subsequent pregnancy. Journal of Biomechanics, 57, S0021-9290(17)30184-7, 94-102.
  • Jiménez J., Eixarch E., Dekoninck P., Bennini J., Devlieger R., Peralta C., Gratacos E., Deprest J. (2017). Balloon removal after fetoscopic endoluminal tracheal occlusion for congenital diaphragmatic hernia. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 217 (1), S0002-9378(17)30369-1, 78.e1-78.e11.
  • Tutolo M., De Ridder D., Montorsi F., Castagna G., Deprest J., Schellart R., Ammirati E., Van der Aa F. (2017). A minimum of 1-year follow-up for MiniArc single incision slings compared to Monarc transobturator slings: An analysis to evaluate durability of continence and medium-term outcomes. Neurourology and Urodynamics, 36 (3), 10.1002/nau.23036, 803-807.
  • Dwyer G., Chadebecq F., Tella Amo M., Bergeles C., Maneas E., Pawar V., Vander Poorten E., Deprest J., Ourselin S., De Coppi P., Vercauteren T., Stoyanov D. (2017). A Continuum Robot and Control Interface for Surgical Assist in Fetoscopic Interventions. IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, LRA.2017.2679902,.
  • Oliveira Arcolino F., Zia S., Held K., Papadimitriou E., Theunis K., Bussolati B., Raaijmakers A., Allegaert K., Voet T., Deprest J., Vriens J., Toelen J., van den Heuvel B., Levtchenko E. (2016). Urine of Preterm Neonates as a Novel Source of Kidney Progenitor Cells. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, 27 (9), ASN.2015060664.
  • Engels A., Bauters D., Rynkevic R., Pranpanus S., Richter J., Van Mieghem T., Hoylaerts M., Deprest J. (2016). Thrombin Generation by Fetoscopic Trauma to the Fetal Membranes: An in vivo and in vitro Study. Fetal Diagnosis and Therapy, 39 (4), 261-268.Callewaert G., Albersen M., Janssen K., Damaser M., Van Mieghem T., van der Vaart C., Deprest J. (2016). The impact of vaginal delivery on pelvic floor function - delivery as a time point for secondary prevention. BJOG, 123 (5), 10.1111/1471-0528.13505, 678-681.
  • Petersen S., Gibbons K., Luks F., Lewi L., Diemert A., Hecher K., Dickinson J., Stirnemann J., Ville Y., Devlieger R., Gardener G., Deprest J. (2016). The Impact of Entry Technique and Access Diameter on Prelabour Rupture of Membranes Following Primary Fetoscopic Laser Treatment for Twin-Twin Transfusion Syndrome. Fetal Diagnosis and Therapy, 40 (2).