Morgagni hernias (alternative plural: herniae) are one of the congenital diaphragmatic hernias (CDHs), and are characterized by herniation through the foramen of Morgagni. When compared to Bochdalek hernias, Morgagni hernias tend to be:

  • anterior
  • more often right-sided (~90% - If left-sided it's sometimes called Larrey hernia; the term Morgagni-Larrey hernia sums up both sides left and right)
  • small
  • rare (~2% of CDH)
  • at low risk of prolapse

Clinical presentation

Only ~30% of patients are symptomatic. Newborns may present with respiratory distress at birth similar to a Bochdalek hernia. Additionally, recurrent chest infections and gastrointestinal symptoms have been reported in those with previously undiagnosed Morgagni hernia.




Morgagni hernias most often contain omental fat, but transverse colon (60%) or stomach (12%) may be included within the hernia.

Treatment and prognosis

Some sources recommend laparoscopic surgical repair, even in asymptomatic patients, to avoid the risk of strangulation of the hernia contents .

Differential diagnosis

  • cardiophrenic angle lesions: the main differential diagnosis for Morgagni hernia is a cardiophrenic fat pad. It appears radiolucent compared with other lesions not containing fat 
  • focal diaphragmatic eventration 
  • diaphragmatic rupture: from trauma, but usually other supportive signs of chest and/or abdominal trauma would be apparent. This is most commonly seen posterior and posterolaterally 

See also

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