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Concept: Haller index


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


The Haller index, derived from a chest computed tomography scan, remains the standard for determining candidacy for pectus excavatum repair (Haller index ≥3.25). However, it has been suggested that this index may not accurately reflect pectus severity in patients with abnormal chest wall morphologies. This study explores a new, more appropriate criteria for recommending repair based on a correction index, while still incorporating the standard set by the Haller index.

Concepts: Pectus excavatum, Haller index


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


Introduction  Minimally invasive repair for pectus excavatum (MIRPE) is controversial in extremely severe cases of pectus excavatum (PE) and an open repair is usually favored. Our aim is to describe a case of a patient with an extremely severe PE that underwent a minimally invasive approach.Case report An 8-year-old girl with severe sternum depression was assessed. She had a history of exercise intolerance, nocturnal dyspnea, fatigue, and shortness of breath. Chest computed tomography showed that sternum depression was posterior to the anterior vertebral column; therefore, Haller and correction index could not be measured. Spirometry indicated an obstructive ventilation pattern (forced expiratory volume in 1 second = 74.4%), and echocardiogram revealed a dilated inferior vena cava, mitral valve prolapse with normal ventricular function. After multidisciplinary committee evaluation, a MIRPE approach was performed. All symptoms had disappeared at the 3-month postoperative follow-up; the desired sternum shape was achieved and normalization of cardiopulmonary function was observed. The Nuss bars were removed after a 2-year period. After 18-month follow-up, the patient can carry out normal exercise and is content with the cosmetic result.Conclusion Nuss procedure is feasible in our 8-year-old patient. In this case, both the Haller and correction index were not useful to assess the severity of PE. Therefore, under these circumstances, other radiologic parameters have to be taken into consideration for patient evaluation.

Concepts: Heart, Respiratory physiology, Pectus excavatum, Haller index, Sternum, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Mitral valve prolapse, Inferior vena cava


Pectus excavatum is classified using the Haller Index (HI) or the Correction Index. However, no correlation between the HI and CI and cardiopulmonary impairment has been described in detail.

Concepts: Pectus excavatum, Haller index, Pectus carinatum


Pectus excavatum (PEX) is the most common chest deformity in children, which is usually corrected by using the minimally invasive Nuss method. The orthopedic effect of the Nuss operation is mainly evaluated by both the Haller index and the appearance of the chest wall configuration, which is dependent on the operator’s clinical experience to a great extent. To improve the orthopedic effect, we proposed a novel method to individually design and optimize the shape of the Nuss bar and to advise its location as well as the incisions. By using the CT imaging data, the three-dimensional model of the PEX thoracic structure is reconstructed, which is further employed in finite element analysis to determine the operation plan. By referring to a healthy person who has similar chest dimensions to the PEX patient, the Nuss bar shape is designed, and according to the finding that the healthy chest wall boundary is almost convex with positive curvature, the Nuss bar shape is tuned to be a convex curve to ensure the orthopedic effect. Finite element analysis is employed to analyze the orthopedic effect and to determine the incision position of the Nuss bar. Experiments were carried out to verify the orthopedic effect of the customized Nuss bar, which showed that this method is more accurate and individualized, compared to conventional methods.

Concepts: Pectus excavatum, Haller index, Chest, Sternum, Finite element method, Hilbert space, Partial differential equation, Pectus carinatum


Pectus excavatum (PE) is the most common congenital chest abnormality, and affects males 5 times more frequently than females. PE results from improper fusion of the ribs with the sternum during embryologic development. The cardinal presenting sign is chest depression. Evaluation includes serial measurement of the chest deformity defect. Additional evaluation of cardiopulmonary function, including arrhythmias and pulmonary function tests, should be done as well. Computed tomography scans are used to determine the Haller index, a measure of deformity severity, with a measurement of greater than 3.2 deemed severe. The main indication of repair is decreased cardiopulmonary capacity, not cosmetic. Surgical repair should be timed such that it occurs after the pediatric growth spurt. Generally, the Nuss procedure, which is minimally invasive, is the first-line surgical repair. Ravitch, or open repair, is used for more complex or asymmetric deformities. [Pediatr Ann. 2016;45(11):e403-e406.].

Concepts: Heart, Pectus excavatum, Haller index, Chest, Sternum, Minimally invasive, Pectus carinatum, Human appearance


Pectus excavatum can negatively impact cardiac function during scoliosis surgery. Several authors reported severe hypotension associated with the prone position during scoliosis surgery in children that had both scoliosis and pectus excavatum. However, we could find no studies that evaluated the change in the thoracic factors, such as sternal tilt angle and Haller index after scoliosis surgery in patients with both scoliosis and pectus excavatum. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the change in thoracic factors after surgical treatment for scoliosis associated with pectus excavatum.

Concepts: Heart, Pectus excavatum, Haller index, Chest, Sternum, Cultural studies, Pectus carinatum


Background The literature is silent on the relationship between symptoms and the Haller index. Nor is there a classification of the severity of the physical complaints. Materials and Methods Retrospectively, data from 128 patients (102 funnel, 25 pigeon chest patients, and 1 mixed type) were evaluated. To objectify the symptoms, we developed a score to describe the level of physical ailments. This score includes 10 different symptoms as well as the situation or frequency in which they occur and an impact factor. This depends on how much they affect everyday life. Results Pectus excavatum patients express physical complaints more frequently than pectus carinatum patients who actually suffer more from psychological stress. We could not find a correlation between the Haller index and symptoms or levels of ailment. Conclusion Pectus deformities are likely to cause physical and psychological complaints. Since the subjective symptoms did not show any correlation to the chest severity index, they are supposed to be independent from the deformity’s extent.

Concepts: Pectus excavatum, Haller index, Sternum, Marfan syndrome, Pectus carinatum, Congenital disorders of musculoskeletal system


During a routine physical examination, the degree of pectus excavatum (PE) is not always appreciated as the external appearance does not always reflect the severity of the deformity. In the patient in this case report, the severity had been underestimated for 33 years. The physicians, having requested standard two-view chest radiographs, had relied solely on the radiological reports, where the PE had been ambiguously described as ‘moderate’ or ‘substantial’. In patients where PE has been observed, it is essential that an objective numeric measure of severity, using the Haller index, is included in radiological reports.

Concepts: Patient, Hospital, Pectus excavatum, Haller index, Chest, Sternum, Physician, Doctor-patient relationship