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Sept 1961

Pectus Excavatum: An Analysis of Twenty-Seven Cases

Author Affiliations


From the Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, University of California at Los Angeles.

Arch Intern Med. 1961;108(3):427-437. doi:10.1001/archinte.1961.03620090099012

Opinions concerning the consequences and treatment of pectus excavatum (trichterbrust, funnel chest) vary considerably. The prevailing surgical point of view is that with few exceptions, all patients with deformity are operative candidates; the only remaining questions are technical (type of incision, use of bone grafts, external fixation, etc.). The surgical approach to pectus excavatum has resulted not only from the singular technical advances of the last decade but primarily rests upon the strong notion that operation at an early age obviates the "inevitable" cardiopulmonary complications of the disorder.1 There have been occasional isolated cases in which surgical correction of the thoracic defect produced striking remission of serious underlying cardiac disease,2,3 but preoperative and postoperative data on large numbers of cases are lacking. On the other hand, there are a few studies which would suggest that cardiac and ventilation impairment are unusual in pectus excavatum and not sufficiently frequent