IN THE evaluation of the clinical significance of the esophageal hiatus hernia, the question of how frequently this lesion exists without symptoms assumes considerable importance. In view of the increasing incidence in the diagnosis of hiatus hernia, largely due to more frequent routine use of various positional maneuvers of the patient during the roentgenologic examination of the upper gastrointestinal tract, the problem of asymptomatic hiatus hernia is of greater interest. For instance, in a recent study1 hiatus hernia was the second most frequent diagnosis made for 3,448 patients undergoing roentgenologic study of the upper gastrointestinal tract after a barium meal. Duodenal ulcer was diagnosed in 705 patients while hiatus hernia was present in 308 patients.
There is great variance of opinion in the literature as to the importance and incidence of asymptomatic patients with hiatus hernia. In most reports the authors present various features of the clinical picture