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Congenital cleft sternum with diaphragmatic hernia and radial hemimelia in a kitten
  1. Lindsey Anne Weber1 and
  2. Heidi Phillips2
  1. 1 Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois, USA
  2. 2 Veterinary Clinical Medicine, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Heidi Phillips; philli{at}


A four-month-old male intact domestic shorthair kitten was presented for deformity of the right thoracic limb. Severe carpal varus was noted, and palpation of the ventral thorax revealed the sternum to be divided caudally. The heartbeat was palpable beneath the skin in the expanse created by the sternal division. Incomplete caudal sternal cleft with diaphragmatic hernia was diagnosed. At surgery, herniation of the gall bladder and portions of the liver into the thoracic cavity were noted. The medial aspects of the sternal bars were abraded with rongeurs, and interrupted sutures were placed around the sternebrae to close the thorax following placement of a thoracostomy tube. The diaphragm and abdomen were also closed primarily. The kitten died postoperatively and was found to have acute pulmonary and cardiac lesions. Primary surgical closure is possible, and patients should be monitored carefully in the postoperative period.

  • congenital
  • diaphragmatic hernia
  • radial hemimelia
  • cleft sternum
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  • Contributors LAW authored the submission under the supervision of HP. HP is responsible for the overall content of the manuscript, and managed the care of the kitten presented herein.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement No additional data are available.

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