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- Pressure in womb during pregnancy
- Excessive pulling on breastbone and rib cage from shortened tendons of diaphragm muscles
- Abnormalities in cartilage of the rib cage
- Genetic factors
|The Rib Cage|
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- Family history of pectus excavatum
- Gender: more common in boys
- Difficulty exercising
- Unexplained shortness of breath
- Mild chest pain
- Frequent respiratory tract infections (eg, cold , bronchitis , pneumonia ) that last longer than normal
- Ask about your symptoms
- Take your medical history
- Do a physical exam
- CT scan —a type of x-ray that uses a computer to make pictures of structures inside the chest. This is done to determine if the heart is squashed in the chest.
- Pulmonary function test —a group of tests done to assess breathing ability. They will assess if your lungs have any difficulty moving adequate amounts of air.
- Electrocardiogram (ECG, EKG)—a test that records the heart’s activity by measuring electrical currents through the heart muscle
- Echocardiogram —a test that uses sound waves (ultrasound) to examine the size, shape, and motion of the heart.
- Have impairments of the heart or lungs
- Have difficulty with physical activity
- Are uncomfortable with the appearance of your chest
American Pediatric Surgical Association http://www.pediatricsurgerymd.org/
American Surgical Association http://www.americansurgical.info/
Canadian Association of General Surgeons http://www.cags-accg.ca/
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/index%5Fe.html/
Goretsky MJ, Kelly RE Jr, Croitoru D, Nuss D. Chest wall anomalies: pectus excavatum and pectus carinatum. Adolesc Med Clin. 2004;15(3):455-471.
Jaroszewski D, Notrica D, McMahon L, Steidley E, Descahmps C. Current management of pectus excavatum: a review and update of therapy and treatment recommendations. J Am Board Fam Med. 2010;23(2):230.
Mavanur A, Hight DW. Pectus excavatum and carinatum: new concepts in the correction of congenital chest wall deformities in the pediatric age group. Conn Med. 2008;72(1):5-11.
Pectus excavatum. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed . Updated March 19, 2012. Accessed May 16, 2012.
Pectus excavatum. McMaster Children’s Hospital website. Available at: http://www.hamiltonhealthsciences.ca/documents/Patient%20Education/PectusExacavatum-lw.pdf . Accessed May 17, 2012.
- Reviewer: J. Thomas Megerian, MD, PhD, FAAP
- Review Date: 07/2012
- Update Date: 07/13/2012