The breadth of the diaphragm: Updates in embryogenesis and role of imaging

Chi Wan Koo, Tucker F. Johnson, David S. Gierada, Darin B. White, Shanda Blackmon, Jane M. Matsumoto, Jooae Choe, Mark S. Allen, David L. Levin, Ronald S. Kuzo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The diaphragm is an unique skeletal muscle separating the thoracic and abdominal cavities with a primary function of enabling respiration. When abnormal, whether by congenital or acquired means, the consequences for patients can be severe. Abnormalities that affect the diaphragm are often first detected on chest radiographs as an alteration in position or shape. Cross-sectional imaging studies, primarily CT and occasionally MRI, can depict structural defects, intrinsic and adjacent pathology in greater detail. Fluoroscopy is the primary radiologic means of evaluating diaphragmatic motion, though MRI and ultrasound also are capable of this function. This review provides an update on diaphragm embryogenesis and discusses current imaging of various abnormalities, including the emerging role of three-dimensional printing in planning surgical repair of diaphragmatic derangements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number20170600
JournalBritish Journal of Radiology
Issue number1088
StatePublished - 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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