Rare Primary Care News

Disease Profile

Chilaiditi syndrome

Prevalence estimates on Rare Medical Network websites are calculated based on data available from numerous sources, including US and European government statistics, the NIH, Orphanet, and published epidemiologic studies. Rare disease population data is recognized to be highly variable, and based on a wide variety of source data and methodologies, so the prevalence data on this site should be assumed to be estimated and cannot be considered to be absolutely correct.


US Estimated

Europe Estimated

Age of onset





Autosomal dominant A pathogenic variant in only one gene copy in each cell is sufficient to cause an autosomal dominant disease.


Autosomal recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of each gene of the chromosome are needed to cause an autosomal recessive disease and observe the mutant phenotype.


dominant X-linked dominant inheritance, sometimes referred to as X-linked dominance, is a mode of genetic inheritance by which a dominant gene is carried on the X chromosome.


recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of a gene on the X chromosome cause an X-linked recessive disorder.


Mitochondrial or multigenic Mitochondrial genetic disorders can be caused by changes (mutations) in either the mitochondrial DNA or nuclear DNA that lead to dysfunction of the mitochondria and inadequate production of energy.


Multigenic or multifactor Inheritance involving many factors, of which at least one is genetic but none is of overwhelming importance, as in the causation of a disease by multiple genetic and environmental factors.


Not applicable



Chilaiditi syndrome is a medical condition in which a portion of the colon is abnormally positioned between the liver and the diaphragm. Symptoms vary, but may include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and small bowel obstruction. In many cases, there are no symptoms and the interposition is an incidental finding. When no symptoms are present, the clinical finding is called Chilaiditi's sign.[1][2]. The underlying cause of Chilaiditi syndrome is unknown. Treatment is symptomatic and supportive.[1]


The symptoms of Chilaiditi syndrome vary. Chronic recurrent abdominal pain is a common finding. Other symptoms might include nausea, vomiting, constipation, indigestion, difficulty swallowing, and abdominal tenderness, especially in the upper, central area. In some cases, breathing problems may develop.[1][2]


The exact cause of Chilaiditi syndrome is unknown. The condition appears to occur with higher frequency among individuals with chronic lung disease, scarring of the liver (cirrhosis), and in those with an accumulation of ascites in the abdomen. Other risk factors may include reduced liver volume, paralysis of the motor nerve to the diaphragm (phrenic nerve palsy), and obesity.[1] In some cases, the condition is present from birth (congenital).[2]


Treatment of Chilaiditi syndrome is directed at the individual symptoms present. In some cases, treatment is not needed. Reducing (or removing) the pressure within the abdomen may help alleviate symptoms.[1] This may be achieved through conservative measure that address constipation, pain, and distention.[2] Surgical intervention may include removal of a portion of the colon or the anchoring of the misplaced part of the colon to the abdominal wall.[1]

Learn more

These resources provide more information about this condition or associated symptoms. The in-depth resources contain medical and scientific language that may be hard to understand. You may want to review these resources with a medical professional.

Where to Start

  • The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) has a report for patients and families about this condition. NORD is a patient advocacy organization for individuals with rare diseases and the organizations that serve them.

In-Depth Information

  • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
  • The Monarch Initiative brings together data about this condition from humans and other species to help physicians and biomedical researchers. Monarch’s tools are designed to make it easier to compare the signs and symptoms (phenotypes) of different diseases and discover common features. This initiative is a collaboration between several academic institutions across the world and is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Visit the website to explore the biology of this condition.
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Chilaiditi syndrome. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.

Selected Full-Text Journal Articles


  1. Boros MJ. Chilaiditi’s Syndrome. National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). 2013; https://rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/chilaiditis-syndrome/.
  2. Jangouk P, Zaidi F, Hashash JG. Chilaiditi's Sign: A Rare Cause of Abdominal Pain. ACG Case Rep J. 2014; 1(2):70-71. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4435277/.

Rare Primary Care News