A considerable number of congenital malformations result from disturbances of normal fusion of component parts. The ventral midline of the trunk is a common site for such defects, which range from a simple umbilical hernia to multiple defects involving the thoracic and abdominal walls, diaphragm, pericardium, and heart. Of those defects limited to the thoracic wall, abnormalities of the sternum and associated cartilages often result in a depression (pectus excavatum) or a prominence (pectus carinatum). An uncommon midline defect occurs when there is partial separation of a portion of the sternum. This is called bifid sternum.
Report of a Case
A baby girl had a defect of the upper two-thirds of the sternum. Her delivery was uncomplicated. There was no history of cardiorespiratory disturbance or dysphagia during her first year of life and no delay in weight gain or in development. Three older siblings were normal. She was first examined
KEELEY JL, SCHAIRER AE, BROSNAN JJ. Failure of Sternal Fusion: Bifid Sternum: Repair by Approximation of Sternal Bars. Arch Surg. 1960;81(4):641–645. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1960.01300040125024
Coronavirus Resource Center
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.