Congenital diaphragmatic hernia: Outcome review of 2,173 surgical repairs in US infants

Fizan Abdullah*, Yiyi Zhang, Christopher Sciortino, Melissa Camp, Alodia Gabre-Kidan, Mitchell R. Price, David C. Chang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) remains one of the most challenging conditions to treat within the pediatric surgical and medical communities. In spite of modern treatment modalities, including extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) and improved ventilatory support, mortality remains high. The present study analyzes a US database containing information from nearly 93 million discharges in the US. Infants with congenital diaphragmatic hernia who underwent surgical repair were identified by ICD-9 procedure code and inclusion criteria including an age at admission of less than 1 year. Variables of gender, race, age, geographic region, co-existing diagnoses and procedures, hospital type, hospital charges adjusted to 2006 dollars, length of stay, and inpatient mortality were collected. A total of 89% of patients were either treated initially or rapidly transferred to urban teaching hospitals for definitive treatment of CDH. The inpatient mortality rate was 10.4% with a median length of stay of 20 days (interquartile range of 9-40 days). The median inflation-adjusted total hospital charge was $116,210. Respiratory distress was the most common co-existing condition (68.8%) followed by esophageal reflux (27.8%). The most common concomitant procedures performed were ECMO (17.8%) and fundoplication (17.6%). This study, which represents the largest characterization of US infants who have undergone CDH repair using data from a nationally representative non-voluntary database, demonstrates that surgical repair is associated with significant mortality and morbidity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1059-1064
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric Surgery International
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2009


  • Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
  • Congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH)
  • Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP)
  • Kids' inpatient database (KID)
  • National inpatient sample (NIS)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Surgery


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