Comparative outcomes of right versus left congenital diaphragmatic hernia: A multicenter analysis

J Pediatr Surg. 2020 Jan;55(1):33-38. doi: 10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2019.09.046. Epub 2019 Oct 26.


Background: Congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) occurs in 1 out of 2500-3000 live births. Right-sided CDHs (R-CDHs) comprise 25% of all CDH cases, and data are conflicting on outcomes of these patients. The aim of our study was to compare outcomes in patients with right versus left CDH (L-CDH).

Methods: We analyzed a multicenter prospectively enrolled database to compare baseline characteristics and outcomes of neonates enrolled from January 2005 to January 2019 with R-CDH vs. L-CDH.

Results: A total of 588, 495 L-CDH, and 93 R-CDH patients with CDH were analyzed. L-CDHs were more frequently diagnosed prenatally (p=0.011). Lung-to-head ratio was similar in both cohorts. R-CDHs had a lower frequency of primary repair (p=0.022) and a higher frequency of need for oxygen at discharge (p=0.013). However, in a multivariate analysis, need for oxygen at discharge was no longer significantly different. There were no differences in long-term neurodevelopmental outcomes assessed at two year follow up. There was no difference in mortality, need for ECMO, pulmonary hypertension, or hernia recurrence.

Conclusion: In this large series comparing R to L-CDH patients, we found no significant difference in mortality, use of ECMO, or pulmonary complications. Our study supports prior studies that R-CDHs are relatively larger and more often require a patch or muscle flap for repair.

Type of study: Prognosis study LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level II.

Keywords: Congenital diaphragmatic hernia; Critical care; ECMO; Thoracic.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation
  • Hernias, Diaphragmatic, Congenital* / complications
  • Hernias, Diaphragmatic, Congenital* / epidemiology
  • Hernias, Diaphragmatic, Congenital* / mortality
  • Hernias, Diaphragmatic, Congenital* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Retrospective Studies