Chronic traumatic diaphragmatic hernia with pericardial rupture and associated gastroesophageal reflux
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Major thoracic and abdominal trauma damages the diaphragm 5% of the time. These injuries may be recognized when they occur but often are discovered months later during work up for related symptoms. Typically, the injury is to the left posterolateral aspect of the diaphragm. Rarely, rupture through the central diaphragmatic tendon into the pericardial space occurs and this results in different symptoms than the more common injury. We present the case of a patient who presented with chest pain, near syncopal episodes and refractory gastroesophageal reflux years after he was struck by a car and hospitalized. Radiographic imaging included a chest CT that demonstrated herniation of the transverse colon into the mediastinum. During exploration, a defect in the central diaphragm was found with free communication between the peritoneal and pericardial spaces. In this paper, we review our management of this unusual diaphragmatic hernia and the unique symptoms associated with it.
KeywordsDiaphragm Hernia Trauma Pericardial GERD