What is the role of chest radiography in the management of pectus excavatum?

Updated: Oct 30, 2018
  • Author: Andre Hebra, MD; Chief Editor: Girish D Sharma, MD, FCCP, FAAP  more...
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Answer

Some surgeons obtain a baseline 2-view chest radiography (anteroposterior and lateral views) in all patients. This provides information about any possible associated intrathoracic pathology, severity of the lung compression, and mediastinal displacement. Plain chest radiography may also show the degree of posterior displacement of the sternum, particularly in relation to the spine. However, it does not provide any information about the appearance of the affected ribs because the cartilaginous part is the involved part and is not visible on standard radiographs. In addition, plain chest radiography allows for assessment of the spine and possible associated scoliosis, a common finding in many patients with pectus excavatum. It is not mandatory to obtain chest radiographs in all patients with pectus excavatum.


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