In the past decade, surgical literature has been replete with reports on eventration and on hernia of the diaphragm as well as on the role of the diaphragm in the surgical treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis, especially phrenicectomy and artificial pneumothorax. Articles in which the roentgenologic diagnosis of subphrenic abscess has been discussed are also available. There is, however, a dearth of material bearing on the significance of collections of air or gas under the diaphragm.
The presence of air in the subdiaphragmatic space is particularly pertinent when it is demonstrated roentgenologically to be on the right side, that is, between the diaphragm and the liver. In the left subphrenic area gas may be found in the cardiac end of the stomach (Magenblase) and in the splenic flexure of the colon, both of which lie directly beneath the leaf of the diaphragm. This is usually of no clinical importance. On the