In pectus excavatum, the growth of bone and cartilage in the anterior chest wall is abnormal,
typically affecting 4-5 ribs on each side of the sternum.
- Chest wall deformity seen in 1 in 1000 children
- Main issues cosmetic but may impair respiratory function
Risks and Associations
- Male predominance (male-to-female ratio of 3:1).
- Pectus excavatum appears to be most prevalent in whites
- Marfan syndrome and Ehlers Danlos and Poland syndrome.
- Concavity of the sternum and is often
referred to as “sunken” or “funnel” chest.
- The sunken sternum can affect heart and lung function.
- Heart may be displaced to the left side of the chest
- Maybe compression of the heart and lungs.
- Patients may experience shortness of
breath, chest pain, mitral valve prolapse
- Palpitations, and/or
- Low self-esteem and cosmetic issues
- CXR anteroposterior and lateral views
- CT chest may also show anatomy
- Pulmonary function: lower forced vital capacity
- Echo: mitral valve prolapse
- Surgical correction may be considered
- Minimally invasive techniques are available
- Surgery often performed in teenage years