A number of different defects can occur, owing to the complex development of the diaphragm. The majority of cases are of the Bochdalek type, in which the defect is posterolateral and most commonly on the left side. The defect can range in size from a small slit to involve almost the entire hemidiaphragm. Defects in the central tendon of the diaphragm result in Morgagni hernias, which are retrosternal in nature and most commonly on the right side. Finally, agenesis of the diaphragm may occur which is usually left sided and extremely rare.
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