Sliding gastric hiatal hernia diagnosis by transabdominal ultrasonography: An easy, reliable and non-invasive procedure

Michele Barone, Paolo Di Lernia, Monica Carbonara, Roberta Ladisa, Annunziata Donno, Annacinzia Amoruso, Alfredo Di Leo, Antonio Francavilla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective. Data in the literature suggest the possibility of using ultrasonography to diagnose sliding gastric hiatal hernia. The aim of this study was to confirm the diagnostic accuracy of transabdominal ultrasonography for the diagnosis of sliding gastric hiatal hernia, using endoscopy as the reference test. The latter procedure was used since it also recognizes the presence of esophagitis and/or varices, two pathological conditions that could per se influence ultrasonographic evaluation, based on measurement of the esophageal diameter. Material and methods. A total of 180 consecutive patients, admitted to our hospital for endoscopy, were examined. Of these, 12 patients were not included in the final study. After fasting, the remaining 168 patients were first evaluated by ultrasonography and later by endoscopy. Esophageal diameter was measured by ultrasonography at the level of the diaphragmatic hiatus. Results. Using a diameter ≥ 18 mm as the sensitivity threshold, 29 patients potentially affected by hiatal hernia were identified by ultrasonography. Upper endoscopy examination confirmed the presence of hiatal hernia in 24 of these patients and documented 4 additional hernias in the group of patients with a transdiaphragmatic esophageal diameter <18 mm (positive and negative predictive values were 82.7% and 97%, respectively). Analysis of the distribution of esophageal varices and esophagitis in all 168 excluded the possibility that these pathological conditions could influence the esophageal diameter. Conclusions. Ultrasonography represents a simple and well-tolerated diagnostic approach in sliding gastric hiatal hernia. The good diagnostic accuracy suggests its potential use in clinical and epidemiological settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)851-855
Number of pages5
JournalScandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2006


  • Diagnostic accuracy
  • Sliding gastric hiatal hernia
  • Transabdominal ultrasonography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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