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Congenital eventration of the diaphragm in children: 25 years' experience in three pediatric surgery centers.

  • Yazici, M
  • Karaca, I
  • Arikan, A
  • Erikçi, V
  • Etensel, B
  • Temir, G
  • Sencan, A
  • Ural, Z
  • Mutaf, O
Published Article
European journal of pediatric surgery : official journal of Austrian Association of Pediatric Surgery ... [et al] = Zeitschrift für Kinderchirurgie
Publication Date
Oct 01, 2003
PMID: 14618518


Eventration of the diaphragm is generally defined as an abnormal elevation of all or a portion of an attenuated but otherwise intact diaphragmatic leaf. Previous studies have indicated that eventration is a relatively rare condition, which can be symptomatic and requires surgery. We aimed to evaluate our patients with diaphragmatic eventration, and to discuss their characteristics in the light of the relevant literature. We retrospectively analyzed age, sex, incidence, location of the eventration, symptoms, associated anomalies, surgical technique, complications and survival in our patients. Between 1974 and 1999, 33 patients were treated in the Pediatric Surgery Departments of Ege University, SSK Children's Hospital and Behçet Uz Children's Hospital, 18 of them boys and 15 girls. The ages of our patients ranged from three days to 12 years. All of the patients had at least one of the respiratory symptoms such as cough, respiratory distress and fever; 3 newborns were admitted with severe respiratory distress while children belonging to higher age groups had symptoms of acute or recurrent pulmonary infections and failure to thrive. The eventration was right-sided in 22, 11 eventrations were left-sided. Diagnosis was performed with the help of a number of radiological studies such as fluoroscopic investigation, contrast study of the upper gastrointestinal system, direct X-ray graphies of the thorax, CT scan and ultrasonography, as necessary. Surgery was performed via thoracotomy in 20 patients and the 12 other patients underwent laparotomy for plication. One patient underwent thoracoabdominal plication. Two patients died because of cardio-respiratory complications in the early postoperative period and the rest of them survived to annual follow-ups. In conclusion, diaphragmatic eventration is an important condition which can eventually be mortal. Early diagnosis is necessary and plication is the treatment of choice.

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