Congenital diaphragmatic hernia and ECMO

Case contributed by Dr Alexandra Stanislavsky


Severe respiratory distress at birth.

Patient Data

Age: neonate
Gender: Male

Chest x-ray obtained shortly after birth

Multiple bowel loops fill the right hemithorax, causing mediastinal shift to the left.


The patient's x-rays remained relatively unchanged for 4 days. On day 5 the chest x-ray looked like this...


One day later.

One day later, the pulmonary opacity has almost completely resolved.  There is a persistent pleural fluid collection on the right, and marked body wall edema.

Case Discussion

This is a severe congenital diaphragmatic hernia with significant bilateral pulmonary hypoplasia.  The baby required ECMO on day 5 of life, and this case demonstrates the dramatic, but normal - and rapidly transient - pulmonary appearance secondary to ECMO.  

After a stormy start, the bub lived to go home from hospital.

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Case information

rID: 15695
Published: 1st Nov 2011
Last edited: 13th Aug 2019
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included