Congenital diaphragmatic hernia presenting after the newborn period
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Late-presenting congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) is often difficult to diagnose and delay in treatment is common. Seven patients were operated beyond the newborn period for left-sided Bochdaleck hernia. Their age ranged from 1 month to 9 years. Six of them became symptomatic within the 1st year of life (1 week to 9 months of age). Either feeding difficulties or recurrent respiratory infections were initially present. In all of them chest X-rays were performed but delay in diagnosis ranged from 1 week to 5 years. All diaphragmatic defects could be closed by an abdominal approach without postoperative complications. Clinical symptoms disappeared postoperatively. In children with respiratory complaints or feeding difficulties one should be aware of late presenting CDH. A careful analysis of chest films and searching for “connecting” bowel segments passing through the diaphragmatic defect may help to avoid incorrect diagnosis and undesirable delay in treatment. Confusion with pneumonia or pneumothorax can be diminished by placing a feeding tube and instillation of contrast material. Ultrasound should be used supportively in all suspected diseases of the diaphragm.
Key wordsCongenital diaphragmatic hernia Late presentation
congenital diaphragmatic hernia
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