Thoracic ectopia cordis

BMJ Case Rep. 2012 Sep 30:2012:bcr1120115241. doi: 10.1136/bcr.11.2011.5241.


Ectopia cordis is defined as complete or partial displacement of the heart outside the thoracic cavity. It is a rare congenital defect in fusion of the anterior chest wall resulting in extra thoracic location of the heart. Its estimated prevalence is 5.5-7.9 per million live births. The authors had one such case of a 15-h-old full-term male neonate weighing 2.25 kg with an externally visible, beating heart over the chest wall. The neonate had difficulty in respiration with peripheral cyanosis. Patient died of cardiorespiratory arrest before any surgical intervention could be undertaken inspite of best possible resuscitative measures.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Video-Audio Media

MeSH terms

  • Ectopia Cordis / pathology*
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Thorax / abnormalities