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Lung function declines as chest deformity deepens

Date:
August 18, 2011
Source:
Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters
Summary:
A common deformity that cases a depression in the chest wall inhibits lung function as the cavity grows deeper, a national study of 327 patients has found.

A common deformity that cases a depression in the chest wall inhibits lung function as the cavity grows deeper, a national study of 327 patients published in the Journal of Pediatrics found.

"These results confirm what we have observed anecdotally, that children with more severe pectus excavatum report more incidents of shortness of breath and a higher degree of exercise intolerance," said one of the study's lead authors, Dr. Robert Kelly, a pediatric surgeon at Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters in Norfolk, Virginia.

Pectus excavatum, a condition sometimes known as sunken chest, occurs when the chest cartilage grows abnormally and the chest wall progressively collapses. A CHKD surgeon, Dr. Donald Nuss, developed a minimally invasive surgery to correct the condition 25 years ago, and the hospital has remained at the forefront of treatment and research on chest wall deformities ever since.

The study on lung function included 327 pre-correction pectus excavatum patients ages 6 to 21 from hospitals around the nation, including CHKD. The study used standardized medical measurements to determine the severity of the pectus excavatum and a spirometer, a device that measures the volume of air expelled from the lungs, to assess lung function.

"The results suggest a correlation between the severity of pectus excavatum and lung function," said Dr. Kelly. "The more severe the deformity, the more lung function was compromised." He noted that the effect was primarily from lung restriction, not airway obstruction.

While the decline is relatively modest, Dr. Kelly believes researchers next need to study lung function in pectus excavatum patients at the larger tidal volumes required during exercise.

The study included collaborators from more than 10 hospitals including Cincinnati Children's Hospital, Children's Hospital Boston, Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City and the Hospital for Sick Children at the University of Toronto.

Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters is the only freestanding children's hospital in Virginia and serves the medical and surgical needs of children throughout Eastern Virginia and Northeastern North Carolina.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters. "Lung function declines as chest deformity deepens." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110818142840.htm>.
Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters. (2011, August 18). Lung function declines as chest deformity deepens. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110818142840.htm
Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters. "Lung function declines as chest deformity deepens." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110818142840.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

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