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pectus carina´tum a malformation of the chest wall in which the sternum is abnormally prominent. Moderate cases cause no difficulties and require no treatment; in severe cases the deformity may interfere with lung and heart action, causing dyspnea on exercise and increased susceptibility to respiratory infections. Serious malformations can usually be corrected by surgery. Called also pigeon breast or chest and chicken breast.
pectus excava´tum a congenital malformation of the chest wall characterized by a funnel-shaped depression with its apex over the lower end of the sternum; it is caused by shortening of the central portion of the diaphragm, which pulls the sternum backward during inhalation, and by the growth of ribs. Except in mild cases, it decreases the ability of the child to engage in sustained exercise. It also delays recovery from coughs and colds, reduces the ability to eat a full meal (so that most patients are underweight), and often produces a functional heart murmur. Noisy breathing may occur during sleep. A child may develop an emotional problem because of embarrassment over the deformity. It can be satisfactorily corrected by surgery. Called also funnel breast or chest and koilosternia.

pec·tus ex·ca·va·'tum

[MIM*169300] Avoid using the simple word pectus in the special sense of pectus excavatum. Avoid the incorrect phrase pectus excavatus.
A hollow at the lower part of the chest caused by a backward displacement of the xiphoid cartilage.


/koi·lo·ster·nia/ (-sturn´e-ah) pectus excavatum.


(koy″lō-stĕr′nē-ă) [″ + Gr. sternon, sternum]
Condition in which the chest has a funnel-like depression in the middle of the thoracic wall.