Imaging findings in delayed presentation of congenital diaphragmatic hernia can be confusing and misleading, resulting in a delay in diagnosis.
To evaluate the often puzzling plain film findings of late-presenting CDH in an effort to determine whether any of the findings could be helpful in arriving at an early diagnosis.
Material and methods
We reviewed and documented the plain film findings and clinical data in eight patients seen during the last 20 years with late-presenting CDH. IRB exempt status was obtained in this study.
There were five boys and three girls. The age range was 4 months to 12 years with a mean of 2.4 years. Five children presented with acute respiratory problems while three presented with acute abdominal pain. Two children presented with both respiratory and abdominal findings and one also presented with hematemesis. Two children had radiographic findings that were not difficult to analyze while the remaining six had findings that posed initial diagnostic problems.
Although not common, late-presenting CDH can result in confusing plain film radiographic findings and a delay in diagnosis. We found that the most important finding in analyzing these radiographs is in evaluating the location and position of the gastric bubble with the more common left-side hernias.