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Trop Doct. 2019 Apr;49(2):138-141. doi: 10.1177/0049475519827109. Epub 2019 Feb 10.

Diagnostic challenges in late-presenting congenital diaphragmatic hernia: a 16-year experience from tertiary care centre in North India.

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1 Senior Professor and Head, Department of Paediatric Surgery, PGIMS, Rohtak, Haryana, India.
2 Senior Resident, Department of Paediatrics, PGIMS, Rohtak, Haryana, India.
3 Professor, Department of Paediatrics, PGIMS, Rohtak, Haryana, India.


With increasing use of ultrasound screening, the prenatal diagnosis of congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) in better resourced areas has become the norm. However, early diagnosis is still not universal in resource-poor settings and late presentations of CDH continue. We retrospectively analysed the medical records of children operated for late-presenting CDH from 2001 to 2016 at our tertiary care centre in North India. A total of 32 patients were operated during the period with a male-to-female ratio of 3:1. Of these, 78% presented with respiratory symptoms, 37% with recurrent vomiting and 18% with an acute abdomen. Nine (28%) had been treated erroneously for gastroenteritis and another six (18%) had received anti-tubercular therapy for variable periods. A plain chest radiograph with a Ryle's tube in situ was confirmatory in 75% (24/32). In conclusion, initial misdiagnosis and subsequent unnecessary therapeutic interventions were the leading cause of morbidity .


Children; congenital; diaphragmatic hernia; laparotomy; late presentation


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