A pediatric patient with pectus excavatum may or may not have clinical symptoms depending on the severity of the deformity.


Synonym: funnel chest


The primary finding is an inward displacement of the lower sternum. A defect > 3 cm is considered severe. The concavity may be asymmetrical, often greater on the right side.


General findings:

(1) easy fatigability (decreased stamina and endurance)

(2) chest pain or feeling of compression during exertion

(3) other deformities (scoliosis, etc.)

(4) asthenic habitus


Psychological findings

(1) embarrassment and social anxiety at being seen bare-chested

(2) poor body image


Cardiac findings:

(1) displacement of heart to the left and/or compression of the right heart (with more severe deformities)

(2) tachycardia

(3) palpitations

(4) decreased stroke volume and cardiac output


Respiratory findings:

(1) dyspnea after mild exercise

(2) restrictive pattern on pulmonary function tests associated with decreased chest excursions

(3) wheezing, especially during exertion


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