Redefining outcomes in right congenital diaphragmatic hernia

J Pediatr Surg. 2008 Feb;43(2):373-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2007.10.049.


Purpose: Available data comparing the management and outcome of right-sided (R-CDH) vs left-sided congenital diaphragmatic hernia (L-CDH) are inconsistent. Large-volume CDH studies are limited by small numbers of R-CDH or are confounded by compilations from multiple institutions with multiple treatment strategies. Consequently, they are underpowered to draw conclusions. To define the behavior and outcomes of R-CDH better, we report the largest single-institution series of R-CDH and ask if factors traditionally linked to poor prognosis in L-CDH were applicable to R-CDH.

Methods: We reviewed a single institution's experience with 267 consecutive evaluable neonates with unilateral CDH repaired from 1990 to 2006, with specific focus on R-CDH. chi(2) tests were performed for disease-related categorical variables. Two-tailed unpaired t tests were used for continuous variables. Factors associated with morbidity and survival were determined by univariate regression. Statistical significance was set at P < .05.

Results: Forty right-sided (15%) and 227 (85%) left-sided cases of CDH were identified. Prenatal diagnosis was made in 20 right-sided vs 170 left-sided defects (50% vs 75%, P < .01). Survival was 22 of 40 in R-CDH compared with 175 of 227 in L-CDH (55% vs 77%, P < .01). Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation was required in 16 right-sided and 33 left-sided cases (40% vs 15%, P < .001). A diaphragmatic patch was used in 22 of 29 right-sided compared with 82 of 199 left-sided repairs (76% vs 41%, P < .01); rates of abdominal wall prosthesis were also higher in right-sided hernias (38% vs 19%, P < .05). No differences were detected in right-sided vs left-sided recurrences (14% vs 8%, P = .38), mean time from birth to operation (5.3 vs 4.8 days, P = .80), or presence of cardiac anomalies (15% vs 12%, P = .63). Morbidity persisting beyond 6 months of age was present in 16 of 22 R-CDH survivors compared with 76 of 175 L-CDH survivors (73% vs 43%, P > .05). Among R-CDHs, prenatal diagnosis was the only factor to predict survival by univariate regression (P < .01). Use of a prosthesis in the diaphragm (P < .05) for R-CDH repair correlated with morbidity.

Conclusion: Although previous reports suggest that associated anomalies, need for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, and time to repair can influence L-CDH survival, these data do not support extrapolation to R-CDH survival. Right-sided CDH carries a disproportionately high morbidity and mortality. Prenatal diagnosis was the only factor predictive of R-CDH survival. Morbidity may correlate with use of prosthetic material for R-CDH repair. Right-sided CDH is a unique disease that may require a modified antenatal consultation.

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Cause of Death*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation / methods*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hernia, Diaphragmatic / mortality*
  • Hernia, Diaphragmatic / therapy*
  • Hernias, Diaphragmatic, Congenital
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Postoperative Complications / mortality
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Probability
  • Registries
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Survival Analysis
  • Thoracoscopy / methods*
  • Thoracoscopy / mortality
  • Treatment Outcome