Pectus excavatum is the most common congenital chest wall deformity. Extensive corrective surgery prior to age 3 may disturb chest wall growth and result in a constricted thorax. We describe our surgical and radiologic experience with eight such cases, paying particular attention to the role of spiral computed tomography (CT) with 3D reconstruction in patient management. Spiral CT was performed on children who had developed restrictive chest walls following pectus excavatum surgery. These children then underwent a unique operation to elevate the sternum and attempt to correct their restrictive chest wall defects. In several cases, postoperative spiral CT was performed. Spiral CT with 3D reconstruction defined the orientation of the ribs and costal cartilages and their relationship to the sternum, allowing exact preoperative measurement of the bony rib cage and guiding individualized operative correction. Computed thoracic volumes in select cases correlated well with subjective patient reports of increased exercise capacity. Repair of pectus excavatum defects prior to age 3 may result in constrictive thoracic abnormalities. Surgical correction can increase thoracic volume and improve prospects for normal thoracic function. Three-dimensional reconstruction of spiral CT data is useful in both preoperative and postoperative evaluation.
- Pectus excavatum
- Spiral CT
- Three-dimensional imaging
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging