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Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2013 Apr;61(3):267-9. doi: 10.1055/s-0032-1333136. Epub 2013 Jan 23.

Late consequences of traumatic rupture of the diaphragm.

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Department of General, Visceral and Transplantation Surgery, University Medical Center, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany.


A 54-year-old man was admitted to our clinic due to elevated γ-glutamyltransferase, without any clinical symptoms. About 25 years ago, he had undergone blunt abdominal and thoracic trauma during an accident. No diagnostic measures or therapy had been performed at that time. Serum bilirubin was normal, but the values for alanine transaminase, aspartate transaminase, and alkaline phosphatase were slightly above the reference range. Sonography of the abdomen revealed dilated intrahepatic bile ducts up to 3 mm in diameter and steatosis of the liver grade I. CT scan and MRI of the thorax and abdomen showed a giant hiatal hernia with transposition of upper abdominal organs into the chest. As the patient presented clinically completely asymptomatic, without dyspnea, dysfunction of phonation or ingestion, we decided a conservative treatment with Ursodesoxycholic acid. The liver values resolved with this regimen gradually. At follow-up examination 1 year later, they had normalized. Spirometry showed a reduced lung capacity (3.44 L; 64.4% of the desired value) and a reduced FEV1 (forced expiratory volume in one second) of 2.84 L (70.2% of the desired value). Further diagnostics revealed normal otorhinolaryngological and phoniatric findings including stroboscopy of the vocal folds and voice range profile.

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