Congenital posterolateral diaphragmatic hernia past infancy

Am J Surg. 1976 Jun;131(6):748-54. doi: 10.1016/0002-9610(76)90194-x.


Twenty-seven cases of congenital posterolateral diaphragmatic hernia past infancy are reviewed in tabular form and discussed as to presenting symptoms, physical and radiographic findings, operative treatment, and final outcome. A ten year old male treated by us is presented as a detailed case report. A great contrast is noted between the acute respiratory symptoms which threaten life in the infant hernia compared with the more chronic and recurrent gastrointestinal and respiratory symptoms in pateints past infancy. Onset of symptoms did not correlate with age or sex. Chest x-ray films and gastrointestinal contrast studies were most helpful in diagnosis. Abdominal and thoracic approaches were equally effective in reducing the herniated viscera and closing the diaphragmatic defect. We believe that long-term survival of patients with congenital posterolateral diaphragmatic hernia may be due to persistence of a confining pleuroperitoneal sac. Rupture of this sac in later life may coincide with onset of the characteristic symptoms which in turn prompt diagnostic studies. Congenital diaphragmatic hernia must be considered in the differential diagnosis of patients with both recurrent gastrointestinal and respiratory complaints. Plain radiographs of the chest and contrast studies of the gastrointestinal tract are necessary to confirm diagnosis preoperatively.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Diaphragm / embryology
  • Hernia, Diaphragmatic / diagnostic imaging
  • Hernia, Diaphragmatic / embryology
  • Hernias, Diaphragmatic, Congenital*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Radiography