What Is an Elevated Hemidiaphragm?

What is an elevated hemidiaphragm?

When we breathe, the diaphragm would separate the chest cavity from abdomen by rising and falling. When half of a patient’s diaphragm appears to be raised or elevated, it is called elevated hemidiaphragm.

Elevated hemidiaphragms can result from many causes:

  • Above the diaphragm: in the chest there may be a decreased lung volume that is caused by lobectomy/pneumonectomy or pulmonary hypoplasia.
  • In the diaphragm: The hemidiaphragm may be paralyzed or lax because of phrenic nerve palsy or diaphragmatic eventration.
  • Below the diaphragm: there may be a subphrenic abscess, an infection in the abdomen or an abdominal tumor, e.g. liver metastases or primary malignancy.
  • Abdominal surgery and pancreatitis sometime also cause Temporary elevation of a hemidiaphragm.

Generally, an elevated hemidiaphragm does not definitely indicate some acute diseases, but it’s a clue of some health problems.

In any case though, if you or someone close to you feels as if they have an underlying issue going on, please go see a doctor for professional help.


Key words: elevated hemidiaphragm; elevated hemidiaphragm; lobectomy/pneumonectomy; pulmonary hypoplasia; phrenic nerve palsy; diaphragmatic eventration; subphrenic abscess; infection in the abdomen; abdominal tumor; abdominal surgery; pancreatitis.

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