Hydrothorax and/or ascites may be the most striking finding in children with right diaphragmatic hernia. The clinical radiographic and pathologic findings of five children with right diaphragmatic defects through which the liver had herniated are described. Three presented with a right hydrothorax, one with a right hydrothorax and ascites, and another with ascites. All four children with large right hydrothoraxes were found to have an incarcerated peritoneal sac filled with fluid in the right side of the chest at surgery or autopsy. Lymphatic congestion and obstruction was the probable cause for the fluid collection, which tended to enlarge with time. This condition may be life threatening, and two of the four patients died soon after birth because of hypoplasia of the lungs. Fetal ultrasonography in both had disclosed right intrathoracic cystic masses, and in one, intrauterine aspiration to decompress the lungs had been attempted. The other two patients are alive and well following surgical repair at 1 week and 7 months of age. Ascites was present in two patients and was believed to be due to hepatic venous obstruction, a mechanism similar to that responsible for the Budd-Chiari syndrome.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging