You could be reading the full-text of this article now if you...

If you have access to this article through your institution,
you can view this article in

Thoracic Deformity and Hiatal Hernia (Intrathoracic Stomach) in the Elderly

Masaoka, Akira MD, PhD*,†; Kondo, Satoshi MD, PhD*; Yano, Motoki MD, PhD*; Araki, Yutaka MD, PhD; Nobutomo, Masaaki MD, PhD

Journal of Thoracic Imaging:
doi: 10.1097/RTI.0b013e3182698e99
Original Articles

Purpose: The incidence of hiatal hernia (HH) increases with age. Vertebral fracture, kyphosis, and pulmonary emphysema are suspected as possible causes. We aimed to analyze the relationship between thoracic deformities and HH in the elderly, using a deformity index.

Materials and Methods: The study participants comprised 427 inpatients at a long-term–care hospital for the elderly in Japan. The Haller index (HI) was calculated on the transverse thoracic computerized tomography images according to the following formula: transverse diameter of the thorax/anterior-posterior diameter of the thorax. HH was diagnosed when an intrathoracic stomach was seen on the computed tomography images.

Results: The average HI calculated for all cases and for women—but not for men—decreased with increasing age. HH was diagnosed in 21 patients (4.9%). The incidence of HH in women was higher than in men (male vs. female=2.0% vs. 7.4%). The mean value of HI in the HH patients (1.651±0.251) was significantly lower than that in non-HH patients (2.345±0.460).

Conclusions: Enlargement of the anterior-posterior diameter of the thorax occurs in the elderly and is associated with the occurrence of HH.

Author Information

*Department of Oncology, Immunology and Surgery, Nagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Nagoya, Japan

Kyoritsu Onsen Hospital, Kawanishi, Hyogo, Japan

Department of Radiology, NTT West Osaka Hospital, Osaka, Japan

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Reprints: Satoshi Kondo, MD, PhD, Department of Oncology, Immunology and Surgery, Nagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kawasumi 1, Mizuho-cho, Mizuho-ku, Nagoya 467-8601, Japan (e-mail:

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.