What is Pectus Excavatum?
What is Pectus Excavatum? Pectus Excavatum is the most frequent congenital deformity of the thoracic cavity, accounting for almost 95% of cases. It is characterized by a concave depression of the sternum that gives a sunken appearance to the chest, also known as funnel chest. The malformation is diagnosed in newborns and develops progressively during puberty. It is estimated that it occurs approximately in one of every 500-1000 births and, in general, it is more frequent among males (male:female ratio=3:1). The opposite deformity, also common among thoracic deformities, is known as Pectus Carinatum.
The etiology of Pectus Excavatum remains unknown, although it can be considered a hereditary condition. There is a strong suspicion that it is an intrinsic disease at the molecular level of the cartilage of the costal sternal joints in variable number and intensity. On rare occasions, PE is syndromic (Marfan, Morquio, Pierre Robin, Prune Belly, Poland, Jeune, etc.), although it usually occurs in isolation.
AN ASSESSMENT BY A PEDIATRIC OR THORACIC SURGEON IS IMPORTANT TO RULE OUT ANY CHEST WALL PATHOLOGY. CONSULT YOUR PEDIATRICIAN OR FAMILY DOCTOR.