Medical Definition of Hemidiaphragm

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Hemidiaphragm: Half of the diaphragm, the muscle that separates the chest cavity from the abdomen and that serves as the main muscle of respiration. Both hemidiaphragms are visible on X-ray studies from the front or back.

The right hemidiaphragm is protected by the liver and is stronger than the left. The left hemidiaphragm is more often subject to rupture and hernia than the right. This may also reflect weaknesses at the points of embryologic fusion of the left hemidiaphragm.

See also: Elevated hemidiaphragm.

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Reviewed on 12/21/2018

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