CDH Statistics

More than 50% of cases with CDH are detected prenatally by ultrasound examination.

MRI is especially useful for the prenatal diagnosis of multiple abnormalities and for assessing lung volumes.

CDH occurs in every 1-2500 live births in the United States.

CDH accounts for 8% of all major congenital anomalies.

Approximately 1,600 babies are born each year with CDH.

After having a baby with CDH the chances of their sibling diagnosed with CDH is 2%.


The chances of reherniation for a baby born with CDH are as high as 60%. Those with a patch are slightly higher.

Combining all hernia types, CDH occurs approximately 85%of the time on the left side, 10% on the right side, and less than 5% of the time bilaterally.

Mortality from CDH continues to be high, ranging from 20% to 60%.



The key determinants of mortality in CDH are:
•Whether the CDH is isolated or complex. Higher mortality occurs with complex CDH associated with a chromosome abnormality, a single gene disorder, and/or the coexistence of major malformations. The presence of a cardiovascular malformation also indicates a worse prognosis.

•The size of the diaphragm defect.

•The degree of pulmonary hypoplasia.

•Whether the liver is up in the chest or remains down below the diaphragm. Individuals with a large amount of "liver up" CDH have higher mortality than those whose liver remains down below the diaphragm.

•The severity of pulmonary hypertension in the perinatal period. Pulmonary hypertension, which may progress to a late or chronic phase, is often not responsive to medical therapy.

•Whether the hernia is right-sided, left-sided, or bilateral. Some, but not all, studies show that a right-sided hernia is associated with greater mortality than a left-sided hernia. Bilateral CDH always confers a high mortality.

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