Intestinal obstruction caused by a strangulated Morgagni hernia in an adult patient

Barut I., Tarhan O., CERCI C., AKDENIZ Y., Bulbul M.

JOURNAL OF THORACIC IMAGING, vol.20, no.3, pp.220-222, 2005 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 20 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2005
  • Doi Number: 10.1097/01.rti.0000154078.59689.36
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.220-222
  • Süleyman Demirel University Affiliated: Yes


A Morgagni hernia is a congenital herniation of abdominal contents into the thoracic cavity through a retrosternal diaphragmatic defect. The reported incidence of congenital diaphragmatic hernias is estimated to be 1 in between 2000 to 5000 births. Morgagni hernias comprise 2% of diaphragmatic hernias. Most Morgagni hernias are found and repaired in children, but 5% are found in adults. They are usually asymptomatic and often found incidentally on chest radiography. Symptoms of these hernias are attributable to the herniated viscera. Morgagni hernias containing bowel may require repair on presentation because of the risk of incarceration. We present a case of an incarcerated and strangulated Morgagni hernia in a 71-year-old woman admitted to our clinic for abdominal pain and symptoms of intestinal obstruction. The diagnosis was made preoperatively by chest radiography, sonography, and computed tomography. Emergent laparotomy was performed, with the herniated transverse colon and omentum reduced into the abdomen. The diaphragmatic defect was repaired, followed by resection of the strangulated omentum. In conclusion, a Morgagni hernia may cause intestinal obstruction. Routine radiographic studies are usually sufficient to arrive at the diagnosis, but a CT scan and sonography may be necessary. Laparotomy is appropriate for the management of symptomatic adult patients with Morgagni hernias, particularly those with findings of intestinal strangulation, with laparoscopic treatment an alternative approach in selected cases.