Pectus carinatum

J Bras Pneumol. 2007 Jul-Aug;33(4):463-74. doi: 10.1590/s1806-37132007000400017.
[Article in English, Portuguese]


Among the deformities of the thoracic wall,pectus carinatum has not received the same attention as has pectus excavatum. Few pulmonologists, pediatricians, and thoracic surgeons are aware of the approaches to treating this condition. As a consequence, patients with pectus carinatum are not referred for treatment. This deformity, with an incidence of 1:1000 teenagers, is oligosymptomatic. However, for aesthetic and emotional reasons, it accounts for a large number of medical appointments. Such patients are introverted and do not engage in physical activities, since they are unwilling to expose their chest, which also discourages them from going to the beach or to swimming pools. The diagnosis is clinical and visual, and details are obtained through chest X-rays and computed tomography. The treatment is based on a well-known organogram that summarizes orthopedic and surgical procedures. Dynamic compression, combined with physical exercises, is indicated for teenagers with flexible thorax in inferior and lateral pectus carinatum, with limited indication for those with superior pectus carinatum. For individuals of any age with rigid thorax, surgery is indicated for aesthetic reasons. Among the techniques described, the modified sternum chondroplasty stands out due to the excellent aesthetic results achieved.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Cicatrix
  • Esthetics
  • Female
  • Funnel Chest / etiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Orthopedic Procedures / methods*
  • Sternum / abnormalities*
  • Sternum / surgery
  • Thoracic Wall / abnormalities*
  • Thoracic Wall / surgery