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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 29  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 373-375  

Bochdalek hernia with intrathoracic kidney

Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Smt. B. K. Shah Medical Institute and Research Centre, Piparia, Waghodia, Vadodara, Gujarat, India

Date of Web Publication23-Oct-2012

Correspondence Address:
Stani Ajay
C-1, Staff Quarters, Sumandeep University, Campus, Waghodia, Vadodra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-2113.102837

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Bochdalek hernia is a congenital diaphragmatic defect that allows abdominal viscera to herniate into the thorax. Intrathoracic kidney is a very rare finding representing less than 5% of all renal ectopias. A 20 year old female presented with complaints of dry cough since 15 days and intermittent fever of 4 days duration. As part of routine investigation chest X-ray was done which showed a left retro-cardiac homogenous opacity, rest of the lung field appeared normal. Abdominal ultrasound showed the right kidney to be normal, left kidney was not visualized. Computed tomography scan demonstrated left-sided Bochdalek hernia with the left kidney within the thorax. An IVP was done to confirm the diagnosis. Many a times intrathoracic kidney is confused with a thoracic mass and the patient undergoes a battery of unnecessary investigations, surgical interventions and image guided biopsies for the same, hence to avoid this we are reporting this case.

Keywords: Diaphragmatic-hernia, kidney, thoracic

How to cite this article:
Shah AD, Ajay S, Adalia M, Rathi A. Bochdalek hernia with intrathoracic kidney. Lung India 2012;29:373-5

How to cite this URL:
Shah AD, Ajay S, Adalia M, Rathi A. Bochdalek hernia with intrathoracic kidney. Lung India [serial online] 2012 [cited 2020 May 28];29:373-5. Available from: http://www.lungindia.com/text.asp?2012/29/4/373/102837

   Introduction Top

Bochdalek hernia is a congenital posterior lateral diaphragmatic defect, which allows abdominal viscera to herniate into the thorax. Intrathoracic ectopic kidney accounts for 5% of all renal ectopias and its association with congenital diaphragmatic hernia has been reported to have an incidence of only 0.25%. This condition is common in males and in 80-90% on the left side. [1],[2]

We report a case of a female who had a left thoracic kidney associated with left Bochdalek hernia.

   Case Report Top

A 20 year-old female presented with complaints of dry cough for 15 days and intermittent fever of 4 days duration. No history of abdominal pain or increase in frequency or burning micturation. There was no significant past history of any abdominal trauma. The patient does not have any siblings and her mother denied any history of infections or drug abuse during pregnancy. Her menarche was at 13 years and there were no menstrual irregularities. As part of routine investigation chest X-ray was done which showed a left retro cardiac homogenous opacity [Figure 1]. Rest of lung fields appeared normal. Abdominal ultrasound (US) showed the right kidney to be normal; left kidney was not visualized. Ultra sonography of thorax revealed the left kidney in the thorax. Postcontrast computer tomography (CT) with 3D reconstruction showed posterior diaphragmatic hernia with herniation of the left kidney into the thorax which was posteriorly located, suggestive of left-sided Bochdalek hernia with the upper pole of left kidney in the thorax [Figure 2] and [Figure 3]. There were no other associated congenital anomalies of renal vessels or any other abdominal organ. An intra venous pyelography done confirmed the diagnosis of a normally located right kidney and properly functioning kidney partially located in the left side of thorax.
Figure 1: X-ray of chest showing intrathoracic mass

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Figure 2: CT image showing intrathoracic kidney

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Figure 3: CT scan of thorax, axial cuts showing intrathoracic kidney

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Patient was treated symptomatically for her fever and cough. She was informed of the abnormality and counseled regarding it. As there were no direct complications due to the hernia or ectopic kidney no definitive treatment was initiated for it.

   Discussion Top

The posterolateral defect in the diaphragm through which abdominal organs might herniate into the thorax was first described by Vincent Alexander Bochdalek, a Czech anatomist in 1848, hence bears his name Bochdalek's hernia. It occurs more frequently on the left side. This is presumably due to the fact that the pleuroperitoneal canal closes earlier on the right side, or due to the narrowing of the right pleuroperitoneal canal by the caudate lobe of the liver. [1],[3] It is common in males than in females in the ratio 2:1. [4] The ectopic kidney is usually pelvic, iliac, abdominal, thoracic, contra lateral, or crossed. [4] Ectopic kidney is slightly common on the left side as was the case in our patient. [2],[5] The intrathoracic location of an ectopic kidney is the rarest with a reported incidence of 5% of all ectopic kidneys. [1] The association of a Bochdalek hernia and intrathoracic renal ectopia is even rarer at 0.25%.

During embryogenesis the developing kidney which is located in the pelvis moves upwards to fuse with the adrenals; and thereby this ascent is arrested. Sometimes, this upward progression of the developing kidney does not stop at its designated point and thus the kidney reaches into the thorax. One of the reasons ascribed to this disorderly ascent is the delay in closure of the developing diaphragm. [4] The ectopic kidney has been known to be associated with many other defects ranging from acromelic frontonasal dysplasia to Williams syndrome. [5] However there were no other deformities in this patient.

In majority of individuals, the thoracic kidney is benign and asymptomatic. It is most often detected incidentally on chest imaging or at the time of thoracotomy for a suspected mediastinal tumor. [6] In such patients the symptoms and X-ray picture might be easily confused for pleuritis, pulmonary tuberculosis, or pneumothorax especially in the pediatric age group. [1],[7] Chest radiographs are not appropriate, CT scan and MRI would be better for diagnosing diaphragm defects. [8] Intra-venous pyelography or renal scintigraphy usually clarifies the diagnosis. As such an incidentally detected intrathoracic kidney which is asymptomatic does not require any active intervention. Its clinical significance lies in its potential to be confused as a pathological thoracic mass leading to its erroneous excision. [9]

Diagnosis of both these conditions thoracic ectopic kidney and Bochdalek hernia can be reached if and only if there is a high degree of suspicion on the part of the treating physician. Usually Bochdalek hernia is detected incidentally, but very rarely patients might present as an acute emergency due to the strangulation of herniated abdominal contents. [4],[10]

We are presenting this case because of its rarity in reported literature.

   References Top

1.Fiaschetti V, Velari L, Gaspari E, Mastrangeli R, Simonetti G. Adult intra-thoracic kidney: A case report of bochdalek hernia. Case Report Med 2010;2010. pii 975168.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Motiani PD, Gupta PK, Aseri KC, Agarwal KC. Bochdalek hernia on the right side in an adult - case report and review. Lung India 1991;9:63-5.  Back to cited text no. 2
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3.Tubbs RS, Gribben WB, Loukas M, Shoja MM, Tubbs KO, Oakes WJ. Franz Kaspar Hesselbach (1759-1816): Anatomist and surgeon. World J Surg 2008;32:2527-9.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Mensah YB, Forson C. Left thoracic kidney: A rare finding at intravenous urography. Ghana Med J 2010;44:39-40.  Back to cited text no. 4
5.Woodward M, Evans K. Abnormalities of migration and fusion of the kidneys. Oceanan Therapeutics Ltd.; 2011. [monograph on the Internet]. Available from: http://www.pediatricurologybook.com/kidney_fusion.html [Last accessed on 2011 Dec 8].  Back to cited text no. 5
6.Drop A, Czekajska-Chehab E, Maciejewski R, Sta?kiewicz GJ, Torres K. Thoracic ectopic kidney in adults. A report of 2 cases. Folia Morphol (Warsz) 2003;62:313-6.  Back to cited text no. 6
7.Ramaprasad G, Vidyasagar B. Bochdaleks hernia simulating pleural effusion. Lung India 1989;7:95-6.  Back to cited text no. 7
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8.Mirza B, Bashir Z, Sheikh A. Congenital right hemidiaphragmatic agenesis. Lung India 2012;29:53-5.  Back to cited text no. 8
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9.Hithaishi C, Padmanabhan S, Kumar BS, Kalawat TC, Venkatarammappa M, Siva Kumar V. Ectopic thoracic kidney- a case report. Indian J Nephrol 2003;13:79-80.  Back to cited text no. 9
  Medknow Journal  
10.Sheehan JJ, Kearns SR, McNamara DA, Brennan RP, Deasy JM. Adult presentation of agenesis of the hemidiaphragm. Chest 2000;117:901-2.  Back to cited text no. 10


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3]

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