ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-5

Late presentation of congenital diaphragmatic hernia in Sub-Saharan Africa: A call for screening and prompt treatment


1 Department of Surgery, Division of Paediatric Surgery, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, College of Health Sciences, University of Ilorin and University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Ilorin, Nigeria
2 Department of Surgery, Division of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery, College of Health Sciences, University of Ilorin and University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Ilorin, Nigeria
3 Department of Radiology, College of Health Sciences, University of Ilorin and University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Ilorin, Nigeria
4 Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, College of Health Sciences, University of Ilorin and University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Ilorin, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Lukman Olajide Abdur-Rahman
Department of Surgery, Division of Paediatric Surgery, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, College of Health Sciences, University of Ilorin and University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, P. O. Box 5291, Ilorin 240001
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2276-7096.176056

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Background: Congenital diaphragmatic hernias (CDHs) are uncommonly seen anomalies of the diaphragm in our environment. They present late posing great difficulty in diagnosing and management. Objective: To review our experience in the management of CDH and to draw attention to misdiagnosis and mismanagement of cases. Methodology: A prospective study on all patients with CDH from August 2008 to June 2014. Protocols and questionnaire were designed for diagnosis, management, and follow-up of the cases. Results: Eight patients (five males and three females) with age between 15 days and 8 years (median = 5 months) were recruited. Seven (87.5%) cases had hernia of Bochdalek hernia (BH) (one on the right and six on the left) and one had Morgagni hernia (MH). All patients were underweight with a median of 10.7 kg (range = 3.0–17.6 kg). Five (62.5%) cases had recurrent cough, respiratory distress, and postprandrial vomiting; one patient (12.5%) presented with chronic constipation raising the suspicion of Hirschsprung's disease. Diagnosis was confirmed with plain chest X-ray in six patients; upper gastrointestinal contrast in three cases (37.5%) while the patient with chronic constipation and anterior CDH had barium enema, and two patients had chest ultrasound to confirm diagnosis. One patient underwent laparoscopic repair of an MH, and seven patients had open transabdominal repair of BH. The median age at surgery was 7 months (36 days – 96 months). The diaphragmatic defect dimension ranged from 3 cm to 11 cm. Only one patient had 24 h Intensive Care Unit care postsurgery, and median length of stay was 11.8 days (range = 5–27 days) in the open group and only 4 days in the laparoscopic case. Conclusions: CDHs were uncommon and presented late in our practice. Modalities of management require meticulous and structured professional care. We recommend that postmortem should be done in stillborn and infants' deaths to determine true incidence of CDH and confirm possible high hidden mortality.


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