Chilaiditi Syndrome

In rare cases, a part of the intestine (colon) gets interposed between the diaphragm and the liver. Such medical condition is known as Chilaiditi syndrome. Diaphragm is a muscular region that is found between the abdomen and the chest cavity. Part of colon suspended closer to the liver and diaphragm can exert pressure on the abdomen causing stomach pain, nausea and constipation.

Exact cause of Chilaiditi syndrome is not known, but is believed to occur in patients with chronic lung diseases or liver problems. In most of the cases, no treatment is required, but in some people surgery may be done. Since this medical condition was first described by Dimitrios Chilaiditi, a Greek man it was named after him.

Symptoms :

Chilaiditi syndrome is very rare occurrence and even if occurs, it would not cause any symptoms. Part of colon gets locked in the portion between the liver and the diaphragm in elderly people. Chilaiditi syndrome is usually asymptomatic. Some people can get signs of abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and constipation due to this syndrome. In rare cases it can cause shortness of breath and bowel torsion. Some part of the feces will be retained in that portion before expelling.

Causes :

Exact cause of Chilaiditi syndrome is unknown. It is not clear why certain people develop transposition of colon and others not.

Risk Factors :

Elderly men are at more risk than women for developing Chilaiditi syndrome. Similarly people with chronic liver problems like cirrhosis and chronic lung issues like emphysema are prone to get this disorder.

Tests :

In many cases transposition of colon abnormally between the diaphragm and the liver is identified while taking tests for other reasons. Chest X-ray or abdominal X-ray can reveal the position of transverse colon in abnormal position. Characteristic Chilaiditi sign is marked by the transposition of right colon. Sometime this medical condition is confused for suphrenic abscess or suspended air in the diaphragm or abdominal cavity.

Treatment :

If there is no symptom due to Chilaiditi sign you need not require any treatment. The only method of treating the disposition of colon between the diaphragm and the liver is by surgical intervention. Your doctor will consider many factors before deciding whether you are fit for surgery. Corrective surgery is performed for positioning the colon in the right place. But the same condition may still recur after surgery also.

Surgery is performed under general anesthesia and the patient should be in the hospital for a week to 10 days. Rate of success of surgery is fairly good and most of the patients would recover quickly. The patient may have problems like diarrhea or passing stool very quickly after surgery. However this condition may improve in few days. You can get back to normal life shortly after getting discharged. Avoid lifting heavy objects and doing strenuous exercises until your doctor gives concurrence.

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