Peritoneopericardial Diaphragmatic Hernia in Cats
Peritoneopericardial diaphragmatic hernia is a congenital defect that affects the communication between the peritoneum (membrane that forms the lining of abdominal cavity) and pericardium (double-wall sac containing the heart). Like other hernias, the protrusion of the septum affects the surrounding area -- in this case, the abdomen.
Symptoms and Types
Symptoms will largely depend on the amount on the amount and nature of abdominal contents herniated. Some common ones include:
Peritoneopericardial diaphragmatic hernia occurs at the embryologic stage, and is considered a prenatal defect.
You will need to give a thorough history of your cat’s health, including the onset and nature of the symptoms, to your veterinarian. He or she will then perform a complete physical examination, as well a biochemistry profile, urinalysis, and complete blood count (CBC) -- the results of which are typically normal.
Abnormalities visible on X-rays ultimately depend on size and amount of herniated abdominal contents. More advanced techniques, like contrast peritoneography, are also used for a more detailed evaluation, whereby contrast medium (chemical) is given by injection into the peritoneal cavity and then X-rayed at different angles. Another technique commonly employed for confirmation of diagnosis is echocardiography.