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Article
May 1954

FATAL CARDIAC FAILURE IN PERSONS WITH THORACIC DEFORMITIES

Author Affiliations

CHICAGO

From the Departments of Medicine and Pathology, Cook County Hospital, and the University of Illinois College of Medicine.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1954;93(5):687-697. doi:10.1001/archinte.1954.00240290045005
Abstract

THE FUNCTIONAL disturbances of the circulation and of respiration which are, at times, associated with kyphoscoliosis have not received the attention they deserve, in spite of the fact that they have been studied by many authors. Deformities of the thorax are usually classified as lordosis, kyphosis, kyphoscoliosis, pectus excavatum, and pectus carinatum. Of these, kyphosis, kyphoscoliosis, and pectus excavatum are the chief offenders. Lordosis usually presents no symptoms.

Hippocrates1 recognized that dyspnea is a common finding in these patients. The first descriptions of early death in persons suffering from kyphoscoliosis did not incriminate the cardiovascular system, and it was not until the end of the last century that continental observers described heart failure as being the commonest cause. Finley,2 in 1921, remarked on the almost complete absence in English literature of any reference to the effects of scoliosis on the thoracic viscera, and he presented four such cases,

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