Large anterior diaphragmatic hernia

Case contributed by Dr Aneta Kecler-Pietrzyk


50 year old patient referred by general practitioner with a chronic dry cough. No chest pain or shortness of breath. Background: Trisomy 21.

Patient Data

Age: 50
Gender: Male

Hemidiaphragms are obscured by multiple lucencies projecting over both lower lungs suspicious for bowel loops. 

Large anterior diaphragmatic hernia containing loops of bowel. Secondary displacement of the mediastinum and volume loss in the lung bases. No evidence of obstruction or strangulation.

Incidental note of aberrant right subclavian artery.

Incompletely visualised hypodense focus in the right lobe of the liver.

Case Discussion

Large anterior diaphragmatic hernias are divided into:

  • Morgagni hernia: rare (2% of all diaphragmatic hernias) congenital herniation of abdominal contents into the thoracic cavity through the retrosternal foramina of Morgagni which lie within muscular part of the diaphragm.  Morgagni hernias tend to be small, seen mainly in right hemithorax and generally diagnosed in children, however, in 5% of cases are found in adults.
  • Other anterior hernias: herniation of abdominal contents into the thoracic cavity through defect in tendinous part of diaphragm 

In this case, it is uncertain if the bilateral herniation of large and small bowel into the thoracic cavity is through the Morganini foramina or through a large defect in tendinous part of the diaphragm. 

PlayAdd to Share

Case information

rID: 53257
Published: 12th May 2017
Last edited: 14th Aug 2019
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

Updating… Please wait.

 Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

 Thank you for updating your details.