The lung following repair of congenital diaphragmatic hernia

J Pediatr. 1977 Mar;90(3):405-14. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3476(77)80702-6.


To determine the effects of the pulmonary hypoplasia present at birth in infants with congenital diaphragmatic hernia upon subsequent development of the lung, 19 patients who had undergone surgical repair before the age of one year were studied at ages 6 to 18 years. Total lung capacity and vital capacity averaged 99% of predicted value. Diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide was normal. Forced expiratory volume in one second averaged 89% of predicted value and 80% of vital capacity. Total respiratory system conductance and maximum expiratory flow volume curves obtained during air and helium-oxygen breathing were normal. Xenon 133 radiospirometry performed in nine patients revealed equal distribution of lung volumes on the two sides. Ventilation to the hernia side was reduced in only two patients. Blood flow to the hernia side was reduced in all nine patients. Chest radiographs supported the physiologic observations. These findings are consistent with the persistence of a reduction in the number of branches or generations of pulmonary arteries and bronchi on the side of the hernia. Since a substantial part of the vascular resistance resides in peripheral vessels, this developmental abnormality influences the distribution of pulmonary blood flow, although it has little effect on tests reflecting airway resistance or the distribution of ventilation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Airway Resistance
  • Atrophy
  • Child
  • Female
  • Hernia, Diaphragmatic / surgery
  • Hernias, Diaphragmatic, Congenital*
  • Humans
  • Lung / abnormalities*
  • Lung / growth & development
  • Lung / pathology
  • Lung Volume Measurements
  • Male
  • Postoperative Complications* / diagnosis
  • Ventilation-Perfusion Ratio