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September 23, 1961


JAMA. 1961;177(12):859-860. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040380037009

The prevailing surgical point of view with regard to pectus excavatum is that, with few exceptions, patients with this deformity should be operated upon. The surgical approach has resulted from the notion that operation at an early age obviates the later cardiopulmonary complications of this disorder. Fink, Rivin, and Murray1 evaluated 27 subjects with moderate to severe pectus excavatum clinically and with selected pulmonary function studies. The 27 patients were divided into 2 groups. Group 1 was composed of 22 subjects with pectus excavatum without physical or laboratory evidence of coexisting lung disease. Group 2 consisted of 5 patients with pectus excavatum, 4 of whom had associated pulmonary disease, such as bronchial asthma in 2 cases, asthmatic bronchitis in 1 case, and suspected far-advanced inactive pulmonary tuberculosis in 1 case. All 27 patients were subjected to ventilation studies on the 13.5 spirometer for determinations of vital capacity, timed vital