Table of Contents
ISRN Family Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 373059, 6 pages
Clinical Study

Symptomatic Pectus Excavatum in Seniors: An Exploratory Study on Clinical Presentation and Incidence in Daily Practice

1Department of Integrated Care, Maastricht University Medical Centre, P.O. Box 5800, 6202 AZ Maastricht, The Netherlands
2Department of General Practice, Maastricht University, P.O. Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands
3Department of Cardiology, Atrium Medical Centre, P.O. Box 4446, 6401 CX Heerlen, The Netherlands

Received 21 December 2012; Accepted 28 January 2013

Academic Editors: E. Brunner, D. Goodridge, and A. M. Salinas-Martinez

Copyright © 2013 Ron A. G. Winkens et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objectives. Doctors all over the world consider a pectus excavatum usually as an incidental finding. There is some evidence suggesting that a pectus excavatum may cause symptoms in the elderly. It is not known how often a pectus excavatum occurs and how strong the relation is with symptoms. Methods. In hospitals and general practice data, we searched for evidence of a connection between cardiac symptoms and the presence of a pectus excavatum in a retrospective survey among patients in whom a pectus excavatum was found in a chest X-ray. In radiology reports, we searched for “pectus excavat*” in almost 160000 chest X-rays. The identified X-rays were reviewed by 2 radiologists. Reported symptoms were combined to a severity sum score and the relation with pectus excavatum was assessed through logistic regression. Results. Pectus excavatum was found in 1 to 2 per 1000 chest X-rays. In 32% of patients (), we found symptoms that might reflect the presence of symptomatic pectus excavatum. We found a significant relation between the SPES sum score and the radiological level of pectus excavatum. Conclusions. A pectus excavatum found when examining the patient should not be neglected and should be considered as a possible explanation for symptoms like dyspnoea, fatigue, or palpitations.