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Concept: Chest


BACKGROUND: This study investigated the incidence, imaging characteristics and mechanical factors in scoliotic patients with pectus excavatum. METHODS: A total of 142 scoliostic patients with pectus excavatum were evaluated prior to operation. The evaluation included a complete physical exam, phenotype and severity of the pectus excavatum, incidence and severity of scoliosis, and analysis of radiological images, including calculation of the Haller index. RESULTS: Twenty five out of 142 patients (17.61%) with pectus excavatum had scoliosis with a Cobb angle >10 degrees, and in 80.00% of the cases the spinal column was bent to the right. Seventeen patients had bent-to-the-right spines that involved the 6th to 10 th thoracic vertebrae. We found that 23 out of 25 patients with a Cobb angle more than 10 [degree sign] were teenagers and adults. The incidence of scoliosis was only 6.06% in the children under 11 years whereas it was 21.79% in the teenage group. CONCLUSIONS: Mechanical forces appear to play a role in the coexistence of pectus excavatum and scoliosis. There is a relationship between age, severity (Haller index), asymmetry and scoliosis. The heart and mediastinum play a role in providing an outward force to the left of the sternum which may be an important reason for the coexistence of pectus excavatum and scoliosis, but the correlation needs further proof.

Concepts: Vertebral column, Pectus excavatum, Haller index, Chest, Degree, Sternum, Scoliosis


INTRODUCTION: Blunt cardiac rupture is an exceedingly rare injury. CASE PRESENTATION: We report a case of blunt cardiac trauma in a 43-year-old Caucasian German mother with pectus excavatum who presented after a car accident in which she had been sitting in the front seat holding her two-year-old boy in her arms. The mother was awake and alert during the initial two hours after the accident but then proceeded to hemodynamically collapse. The child did not sustain any severe injuries. Intraoperatively, a combined one-cm laceration of the left atrium and right ventricle was found. CONCLUSION: Patients with pectus excavatum have an increased risk for cardiac rupture after blunt chest trauma because of compression between the sternum and spine. Therefore, patients with pectus excavatum and blunt chest trauma should be admitted to a Level I Trauma Center with a high degree of suspicion.

Concepts: Heart, Pectus excavatum, Chest, Sternum, Ventricle, Left ventricle, Physical trauma, Chest trauma


The Nuss procedure, which is a minimally invasive approach for treating pectus excavatum, has better functional and cosmetic outcomes than other invasive procedures. Cardiac perforation is the most serious complication and several methods for the prevention of intraoperative events has been developed. Although most cardiac injuries are detected in the operating room, in the case described herein the patient experienced sudden hypovolemic shock during the postoperative recovery period. This indicates that special caution is mandatory even after successful execution of the Nuss procedure.

Concepts: Blood, Surgery, Pectus excavatum, Chest, Sternum, Shock, Minimally invasive, Hypovolemia


Thoracic radiation results in radiation-associated heart disease (RAHD), often requiring cardiothoracic surgery (CTS). We sought to measure long-term survival in RAHD patients undergoing CTS, to compare them with a matched control population undergoing similar surgical procedures, and to identify potential predictors of long-term survival.

Concepts: Medicine, Experimental design, Lung, Heart, Surgery, Chest, Heart disease, Cardiothoracic surgery


The genesis of cardiogenic oscillations, i.e. the small waves in airway pressure (COS(paw)) and flow (COS(flow)) signals recorded at the airway opening is under debate. We hypothesized that these waves are originated from cyclic changes in pulmonary artery (PA) pressure and flow but not from the physical transmission of heartbeats onto the lungs. The aim of this study was to test this hypothesis. In 10 anesthetized pigs, COS were evaluated during expiratory breath-holds at baseline with intact chest and during open chest conditions at: (1) close contact between heart and lungs; (2) no heart-lungs contact by lifting the heart apex outside the thoracic cavity; (3) PA clamping at the main trunk during 10 s; and (4) during manual massage after cardiac arrest maintaining the heart apex outside the thorax, with and without PA clamping. Baseline COS(paw) and COS(flow) amplitude were 0.70 ± 0.08 cmH(2)O and 0.51 ± 0.06 L/min, respectively. Both COS amplitude decreased during open chest conditions in step 1 and 2 (p < 0.05). However, COS(paw) and COS(flow) amplitude did not depend on whether the heart was in contact or isolated from the surrounding lung parenchyma. COS(paw) and COS(flow) disappeared when pulmonary blood flow was stopped after clamping PA in all animals. Manual heart massages reproduced COS but they disappeared when PA was clamped during this maneuver. The transmission of PA pulsatilty across the lungs generates COS(paw) and COS(flow) measured at the airway opening. This information has potential applications for respiratory monitoring.

Concepts: Blood, Lung, Heart, Chest, Vein, Pulmonary artery, Thorax, Thoracic cavity


Several techniques exist for the repair of complex pectus excavatum. The placement of retrosternal metal bars improves the results by reducing the recurrence rate, but entails several possible risks, complications and disadvantages. A new method, specifically conceived for the repair of severe, asymmetric forms in adult patients, is reported. The corrected bone is fixed in the proper position by two, patient-customized, titanium struts, externally screwed to the manubrium and sternal body. Any retrosternal bar is thus avoided, reducing possible complications, without hampering the chest wall dynamic. In this particularly difficult issue, this technique provides long-term good functional, mechanical and cosmetic results and does not entail a second surgery for struts removal.

Concepts: Heart, Pectus excavatum, Chest, Sternum, Pectus carinatum, Adult, Moral hazard, Fee tail


BACKGROUND: In this paper a new non-invasive, operator-free, continuous ventricular stroke volume monitoring device (Hemodynamic Cardiac Profiler, HCP) is presented, that measures the average stroke volume (SV) for each period of 20 seconds, as well as ventricular volume-time curves for each cardiac cycle, using a new electric method (Ventricular Field Recognition) with six independent electrode pairs distributed over the frontal thoracic skin. In contrast to existing non-invasive electric methods, our method does not use the algorithms of impedance or bioreactance cardiography. Instead, our method is based on specific 2D spatial patterns on the thoracic skin, representing the distribution, over the thorax, of changes in the applied current field caused by cardiac volume changes during the cardiac cycle. Since total heart volume variation during the cardiac cycle is a poor indicator for ventricular stroke volume, our HCP separates atrial filling effects from ventricular filling effects, and retrieves the volume changes of only the ventricles. METHODS: In-vitro experiments on a post-mortem human heart have been performed to measure the effects of increasing the blood volume inside the ventricles in isolation, leaving the atrial volume invariant (which can not be done in-vivo). These effects have been measured as a specific 2D pattern of voltage changes on the thoracic skin. Furthermore, a working prototype of the HCP has been developed that uses these in-vitro results in an algorithm to decompose voltage changes, that were measured in-vivo by the HCP on the thoracic skin of a human volunteer, into an atrial component and a ventricular component, in almost real-time (with a delay of maximally 39 seconds). The HCP prototype has been tested in-vivo on 7 human volunteers, using G-suit inflation and deflation to provoke stroke volume changes, and LVot Doppler as a reference technique. RESULTS: The in-vitro measurements showed that ventricular filling caused a pattern over the thorax quite distinct from that of atrial filling. The in-vivo tests of the HCP with LVot Doppler resulted in a Pearson’s correlation of R = 0.892, and Bland-Altman plotting of SV yielded a mean bias of -1.6 ml and 2SD = 14.8 ml. CONCLUSIONS: The results indicate that the HCP was able to track the changes in ventricular stroke volume reliably. Furthermore, the HCP produced ventricular volume-time curves that were consistent with the literature, and may be a diagnostic tool as well.

Concepts: Blood, Heart, Measurement, Atrial fibrillation, Chest, Thorax, Thoracic cavity, Stroke volume


Nowadays the Nuss operation has been widely adopted as a minimally invasive procedure and standard surgical choice in pectus excavatum. However, much debate and concern have been raised regarding its applicability in adults with pectus excavatum flail chest and other thoratic wall deformities, as compared with younger patients, in terms of complications after surgery. To stabilize the segment of paradoxical chest wall movement we performed the Nuss operation on a patient with multiple myeloma who sustained blunt thoracic trauma. The patient presented with paradoxical movement of the thoracic wall and sternum instability due to multiple myeloma, which led to severe dyspnea, hypoxemia, hypercapnea, and bedridden state. His condition progressed to acute respiratory distress syndrome and did not respond to conservative treatment. We performed the Nuss operation on the patient, and his clinical symptoms were relieved after surgery. The patient regained the ability to walk unassisted and was discharged from the hospital without any specific events.

Concepts: Hospital, Surgery, Pectus excavatum, Chest, Acute respiratory distress syndrome, Sternum, Pulmonary contusion, Thoracic cavity


The technique of choice for surgical correction of pectus excavatum is the Nuss procedure, a minimally invasive technique in which rigid metal bars are placed transthoracically beneath the sternum and costal cartilages until permanent remodeling of the chest wall has occurred. Intraoperatively, anesthesia focuses on three areas: the potential for catastrophic blood loss caused by perforation of large capacitance vessels and the heart, the potential for malignant arrhythmias, and the consequences of bilateral iatrogenic pneumothoraces. Postoperatively, analgesia is institutionally dependent and controversial, based on usage and type of regional anesthesia. The necessity of multimodal analgesic techniques creates a common ground across different hospital systems.

Concepts: Heart, Surgery, Pectus excavatum, Chest, Sternum, Anesthesia, Minimally invasive, Thorax


The aim of study was to introduce technical innovation of MIRPE which reduces the risk of cardiac injury. Modification of MIRPE method with semiflexible thoracoscope and sternum elevating technique has been used. Volkmann bone hook has been inserted percutaneously to the sternum. The hook elevates the sternum forward and enlarges the retrosternal space for safer passage of thoracoscopically guided introducer. Using semiflexible thoracoscope allows better view from various angles via one site of insertion. During the period 2005-2012, the MIRPE was performed on 29 girls and 151 boys; the mean age at the time of surgery was 15.9 years (range 13-18.7 years). The mean Haller index was 4.7 (range 2.7-20.5). The most common complication was pneumothorax (3.3 %) and the incidence of bar displacement was 2 %. The most serious complication was cardiac perforation when inserting Lorenz introducer. This occurred in a 16-year-old girl; she required urgent sternotomy with right atrial repair and recovered well. External elevation of sternum with the hook was used since this case. Subsequent 113 patients underwent surgery without any serious complications. Technical innovation using semiflexible thoracoscope and hook elevation of the sternum reduces the risk of cardiac injury. The hook opens the anterior mediastinum space effectively and makes the following dissection relatively safe and straightforward.

Concepts: Heart, Pectus excavatum, Haller index, Chest, Sternum, Marfan syndrome, Mediastinum, Pectus carinatum