This information is provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD).
Pectus carinatum refers to a chest wall abnormality in which the breastbone is pushed outward. It generally presents during childhood and worsens through adolescence. If the condition occurs in isolation, it is often not associated with any additional signs or symptoms. Rarely, affected people report shortness of breath during exercise, frequent respiratory infections, and/or asthma. The underlying cause of isolated pectus carinatum is unknown. Pectus carinatum can also be associated with a variety of genetic disorders and syndromes, including Marfan syndrome, Noonan syndrome, Morquio syndrome, homocystinuria, osteogenesis imperfecta, Coffin-Lowery syndrome, cardiofaciocutaneous syndrome, and certain chromosome abnormalities. In these cases, the condition has an underlying genetic cause and is associated with additional features that are characteristic of the genetic disease. Pectus carinatum is primarily a cosmetic concern and treatment, therefore, depends on the severity of the condition and the interests of the affected person and their family. In those who choose to pursue treatment, bracing and/or surgery may be an option.
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