Traumatic Rupture of the Diaphragm

Servicio de Cirugía Torácica, Hospital Universitario La Fe, Valencia, España.
Archivos de Bronconeumología (Impact Factor: 1.82). 04/2008; 44(4):197-203. DOI: 10.1016/S1579-2129(09)60016-1
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Traumatic rupture of the diaphragm (TRD) is a rare occurrence, with variable morbidity and mortality. The aim of this study was to analyze cases of TRD in a tertiary hospital and assess prognostic factors associated with mortality.
A retrospective study was performed of patients diagnosed with TRD in Hospital Universitario La Fe, Valencia, Spain, between 1969 and 2006. The following variables were analyzed: sex, age, cause, diagnosis, associated lesions, surgical procedure, side and size of the lesion, visceral herniation, and postoperative morbidity and mortality.
The study group comprised 132 patients (105 men, 79.5%) with a mean (SD) age of 39.64 (17.04) years. Traffic accidents were the most common cause of TRD. Rupture involved the left hemidiaphragm in 96 cases (72.7%), and 113 patients (85.6%) had associated lesions, most often affecting the abdomen. Thoracotomy was performed in 83 cases (62.9%) and laparotomy in 41 (31.1%). Visceral herniation was reported in 90 patients (68.3%), most often involving the stomach. The rates of perioperative morbidity and mortality were 62.8% and 20.5%, respectively. Diagnostic delay and the presence of morbidity and serious associated lesions all had a statistically significant impact on mortality (P< .05). In the case of serious associated lesions, the odds ratio was 2.898 (95% confidence interval, 1.018-8.250) and for perioperative morbidity it was 1.488 (95% confidence interval, 1.231-1.798).
TRD is an infrequent occurrence in young men, is generally caused by traffic accidents, and is more common on the left side. Associated lesions are present in most cases and represent the main prognostic factor affecting morbidity and mortality. TRD can be considered a relative surgical emergency when not accompanied by other lesions that in themselves constitute surgical emergencies.

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