The Reference Centre is experienced in the treatment of diaphragmatic hernias:

  • Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia
  • Bochdalek congenital posterolateral diaphragmatic hernia
  • Congenital anterior retro-xiphoidian hernia of the diaphragm
  • Diaphragmatic eventration

Congenital diaphragmatic hernia

Congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) is defined as the absence of all or part of the diaphragm, with ascension of the abdominal viscera into the thorax, resulting in compression of the lungs.

This rare malformation occurs in around 1/3,500 - 5,000 births.

The precise aetiology of this disorder is unknown. Other associated malformations may also be present (in particular cardiac, genito-urinary, spinal or gastro-intestinal). The diaphragmatic hernia may be isolated or associated with syndromes (Fryns, Denys-Drash) or certain genetic anomalies.

Currently in France, diagnosis is made before birth in 80% of cases (antenatal diagnosis), while around 20% are diagnosed following birth. The earlier the diagnosis of diaphragmatic hernia the more serious the prognosis. Post-natal forms have the best prospects of survival. For prenatal forms, various prognostic parameters are used, such as LHR (Lung to Head Ratio), whether or not the liver has ascended into the chest, and MRI measurement of foetal lung volumes.


CDH explained in this short VIDEO. (Video in English - provided by the Rare Disease European Network ERNICA)

Information Booklet

A booklet entitled "Diaphragmatic hernia - Understand and support"is available for parents and/or future parents of children with hernia.

This is a practical guide jointly prepared by a team of medical and paramedical professionals from the diaphragmatic hernia Reference Centre, the FIMATHO network, and families from the APEHDia Association.

It contains information and points of reference relating to diaphragmatic hernia, designed to help parents understand the disorder and prepare for their child’s treatment and care.

Read the booklet (in French)

Livret de présentation de la hernie de coupole diaphragmatique