Hiatal hernias

Surg Radiol Anat. 2012 May;34(4):291-9. doi: 10.1007/s00276-011-0904-9. Epub 2011 Nov 22.


Esophageal hiatal hernias have been reported to affect anywhere from 10 to 50% of the population. Hiatal hernias are characterized by a protrusion of the stomach into the thoracic cavity through a widening of the right crus of the diaphragm. There are four types of esophageal hiatal hernias: sliding (type I), paraesophageal (type II), and combined (type III), which include elements of types I and II, and giant paraesophageal (type IV). Each type may present with different symptoms and complications. The potential severity of symptoms necessitates proper and prompt diagnosis. Diagnosis is established with the use of barium swallow on chest radiographs. Treatment for sliding hernias involves laparoscopic fundoplication. The aim of our paper is to review the extensive literature regarding hiatal hernias in an effort to enhance awareness and diagnosis of this pathology.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Diagnostic Imaging*
  • Diaphragm / abnormalities
  • Diaphragm / embryology
  • Diaphragm / surgery
  • Hernia, Hiatal / classification
  • Hernia, Hiatal / diagnosis*
  • Hernia, Hiatal / surgery*
  • Humans