Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH) is a congenital malformation (birth defect) of the diaphragm in which a hole in the diaphragm allows abdominal organs to move into the chest and restrict lung development. Congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) is a birth defect that occurs in about one in every 2,500 live births. It is characterized by the development, very early in gestation, of a hole in the diaphragm, the breathing muscle that separates the chest from the abdomen. The hole occurs most commonly on the left side. As a result, the intestines and other organs in the abdomen can move into the chest and compress the developing lungs. This prevents the lungs from growing and developing normally, which can cause reduced blood flow to the lungs and pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure in the pulmonary circulation). “ CHOP most common type of CDH is a Bochdalek hernia; other types include Morgagni hernia, diaphragm eventration and central tendon defects of the diaphragm.
Malformation of the diaphragm allows the abdominal organs to push into the proper lung formation. CDH is a life-threatening pathology in infants, and a major cause of death due to two complications: pulmonary hypoplasia and pulmonary hypertension. Experts disagree on the relative importance of these two conditions, with some focusing on hypoplasia, others on hypertension. Newborns with CDH often have severe respiratory distress which can be life-threatening unless treated appropriately. The wide, flat muscle that separates the chest and abdominal cavities is called the diaphragm. The diaphragm forms when a fetus is at 8 weeks’ gestation. When it does not form completely, a defect, called a congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH), is created. This is a hole in the muscle between the chest and the abdomen.