Surgical correction of familial diaphragmatic hernia of morgagni in the golden lion tamarin

Judson Randolph, Mitchell Bush, Michael Abramowitz, Devra Kleiman, Richard J. Montali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Golden Lion Tamarin (Leontopithecus rosalia) is an endangered species of primate indiginous to the coastal rain forest of Brazil. Since 1971 a propagation and behavioral research program has been carried out on a colony of these monkeys at the Zoological Park. Several related animals have died and at necropsy have shown absence of the anterior portion of the diaphragm with a variety of abdominal viscera in the thorax. Diagnostic studies undertaken on the living members of the colony include plain chest radiographs and gastrointestinal series. Four of the animals have been found to have major diaphragmatic defects with the liver, stomach, spleen, colon, and portions of the intestine in the chest. In three of the animals so affected clinical signs of failure-to-thrive were clearly manifest, although one female born in 1968 has reproduced sucessfully for 8 yr with no deleterious clinical effects from the hernia. Surgical repair of the diaphragm with relocation of the abdominal viscera has been carried out in three of the animals under a combination of intravenous and intra-tracheal anesthesia. The monkeys weighed 550, 685, and 710 g, respectively. All three Tamarins have survived the operative procedure, and subsequently have shown improved clinical status. These cases have been instructive from the genetic point of view, the major anatomical defect, the type of repair necessary, and the postoperative care in small vigorous mammals. Additionally this study documents a familial factor in diaphragmatic defects in higher mammals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)396-401
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of pediatric surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1981


  • Diaphragmatic hernia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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