Pectus carinatum

Case contributed by Desiree Rassa Eshraghi


Protruding sternum. Dyspnea and difficulty exercising.

Patient Data

Age: 15 years
Gender: Male
  1. Diffuse anterior protrusion of the sternal body at the lower aspect best evident on the lateral view is compatible with mild to moderate pectus carinatum deformity.

  2. The manubrium sternum is not well evaluated on this exam. The ossifications centers of the lower sternum have fused.

  3. There are 12 pairs of ribs. Slight levoconvex curvature of the upper thoracic spine. No other discrete osseous anomaly is evident.

  4. The heart and central pulmonary vascularity are normal.

  5. The upper abdomen appears normal.

Case Discussion

Typical presentation of pectus carinatum, also known as pigeon chest, which is characterized by a prominent sternum that often arises during a patient's adolescent years. Treatment usually involves bracing, but may require surgery for more severe cases.

This case was submitted with supervision and input from:
Soni C. Chawla, M.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Radiological Sciences
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Attending Pediatric Radiologist
Olive View - UCLA Medical Center

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