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J Pediatr Surg. 2008 Feb;43(2):373-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2007.10.049.

Redefining outcomes in right congenital diaphragmatic hernia.

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Division of Pediatric Surgery, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons New York, NY 10032, USA.



Available data comparing the management and outcome of right-sided (R-CDH) vs left-sided congenital diaphragmatic hernia (L-CDH) are inconsistent. Large-volume CDH studies are limited by small numbers of R-CDH or are confounded by compilations from multiple institutions with multiple treatment strategies. Consequently, they are underpowered to draw conclusions. To define the behavior and outcomes of R-CDH better, we report the largest single-institution series of R-CDH and ask if factors traditionally linked to poor prognosis in L-CDH were applicable to R-CDH.


We reviewed a single institution's experience with 267 consecutive evaluable neonates with unilateral CDH repaired from 1990 to 2006, with specific focus on R-CDH. chi(2) tests were performed for disease-related categorical variables. Two-tailed unpaired t tests were used for continuous variables. Factors associated with morbidity and survival were determined by univariate regression. Statistical significance was set at P < .05.


Forty right-sided (15%) and 227 (85%) left-sided cases of CDH were identified. Prenatal diagnosis was made in 20 right-sided vs 170 left-sided defects (50% vs 75%, P < .01). Survival was 22 of 40 in R-CDH compared with 175 of 227 in L-CDH (55% vs 77%, P < .01). Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation was required in 16 right-sided and 33 left-sided cases (40% vs 15%, P < .001). A diaphragmatic patch was used in 22 of 29 right-sided compared with 82 of 199 left-sided repairs (76% vs 41%, P < .01); rates of abdominal wall prosthesis were also higher in right-sided hernias (38% vs 19%, P < .05). No differences were detected in right-sided vs left-sided recurrences (14% vs 8%, P = .38), mean time from birth to operation (5.3 vs 4.8 days, P = .80), or presence of cardiac anomalies (15% vs 12%, P = .63). Morbidity persisting beyond 6 months of age was present in 16 of 22 R-CDH survivors compared with 76 of 175 L-CDH survivors (73% vs 43%, P > .05). Among R-CDHs, prenatal diagnosis was the only factor to predict survival by univariate regression (P < .01). Use of a prosthesis in the diaphragm (P < .05) for R-CDH repair correlated with morbidity.


Although previous reports suggest that associated anomalies, need for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, and time to repair can influence L-CDH survival, these data do not support extrapolation to R-CDH survival. Right-sided CDH carries a disproportionately high morbidity and mortality. Prenatal diagnosis was the only factor predictive of R-CDH survival. Morbidity may correlate with use of prosthetic material for R-CDH repair. Right-sided CDH is a unique disease that may require a modified antenatal consultation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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