What Is CDH?


Congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) is a condition in which a hole in the diaphragm allows abdominal organs to move into the chest, which prevents the lungs from developing normally, resulting in pulmonary hypoplasia.

(Left) The diaphragm is a sheet of flat muscle that separates the heart and lungs from the abdominal cavity. (Right) In CDH, a hole in the diaphragm allows abdominal organs to move into the chest and restrict lung development. © CHOP/CFDT

When the abdominal organs are in the chest, there is limited room for the lungs to grow. This prevents the lungs from developing normally, resulting in pulmonary hypoplasia (or underdeveloped lungs). This can cause reduced blood flow to the lungs and pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure in the pulmonary circulation), as well as asthma, gastrointestinal reflux, feeding disorders and developmental delays.
CDH can occur on the left side, right side or, very rarely, on both sides. It can be life-threatening.

Cecil Kobe Garbutt- Week 35

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