Gastroesophageal reflux occurring after repair of congenital diaphragmatic hernia

J Pediatr Surg. 1994 Nov;29(11):1447-51. doi: 10.1016/0022-3468(94)90141-4.


Over the past 2 decades, 110 patients with congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) were treated in the authors' hospital. Eighty-six survived; of these, 10 patients (11.6%) had gastroesophageal reflux (GER) after repair of CDH. Seven occurred in the past 5 years, during which time advanced intensive care including extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) was used. Vomiting started within 4 weeks after repair of CDH in eight cases, and hiatal hernia was demonstrated in six cases. Three patients responded to conservative therapy; the other seven required antireflux surgery. Several factors are believed to be possible causes of the development of GER in CDH cases. Among them, slow pulmonary expansion of the affected side was thought to be the most important. Namely, in a case of CDH associated with severe hypoplastic lung, the esophagus may be deviated to the affected side before the lung is expanded. After expansion, the abdominal esophagus shortens, and GER or a hiatal hernia can occur in severe cases. There were seven such patients in our series of 10. With the increase in the survival rate of CDH cases associated with severe hypoplastic lung, the number of such patients also may increase. Therefore, some additional procedure to prevent the lower esophagus from sliding will be necessary in the repair of diaphragmatic hernia.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / diagnostic imaging
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / etiology*
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / physiopathology
  • Hernia, Diaphragmatic / diagnostic imaging
  • Hernia, Diaphragmatic / physiopathology
  • Hernia, Diaphragmatic / surgery*
  • Hernias, Diaphragmatic, Congenital
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Postoperative Complications* / diagnostic imaging
  • Postoperative Complications* / physiopathology
  • Radiography