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Eur J Radiol. 2005 Jun;54(3):448-59.

Diaphragmatic hernia: diagnostic approaches with review of the literature.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, Faculty of Medicine, Atatürk University, 25240 Erzurum, Turkey.


Because surgical repair is indicated for the treatment of diaphragmatic hernia (DH), preoperative imaging of the diaphragmatic defect, hernia content, and associated complications with other organ's pathologies is important. While various techniques can be used on imaging of DHs, selection of the most effective but the least invasive technique will present the most accurate findings about DH, and will facilitate the management of DH. We reviewed the diaphragmatic hernia types associated with our cases, and we discussed the preferred imaging modalities for different DHs with review of the literature. We evaluated the imaging findings of 21 DH cases. They were Morgagni's hernia (n=4), Bochdalek hernia (n=2), iatrogenic DH (n=4), traumatic DH (n=6), and hiatal hernia (n=5). Although its limited findings on DH and indirect findings about the diaphragmatic rupture, plain radiography is firstly preferred technique on DH. We found that ultrasound (US) is a useful tool on DH, on traumatic DH cases especially. Not only it shows diaphragmatic continuity and herniated organs, but also it reveals associated abdominal organ's pathologies. Computed tomography (CT) scan is most effective in many DH cases. It shows the herniated abdominal organs together with complications, such as intestinal strangulation, haemothorax, and rib fractures. We stressed that Multislice CT scan with coronal and sagittal reformatted images is the most effective and useful imaging technique on DH. With high sensitivity for soft tissue, MR imaging may be performed in the selected patients, on the late presenting DH cases or on the cases of the diagnosis still in doubt especially.

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