Measured dynamic compression for pectus carinatum: A systematic review

Sjoerd A. de Beer, Yael E. Blom, Manuel Lopez, Justin R. de Jong

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Background: Patients with pectus carinatum have been treated with orthotic braces since the 1970s. By applying external pressure to the anterior chest wall, a normal chest shape can be restored. However, high patient treatment dropout rates were reported because of the subjectively high pressures applied to the patient´s skin. Measured dynamic compression allows measurement and adjustments of the brace's pressure on the thoracic wall, leading to a controlled correction. Methods: We performed an electronic database search (Pubmed and Cochrane) of the medical literature on measured dynamic compression. A total of 14 studies were found and eight studies between 2008 and 2018 were included. Study designs ranged from retrospective chart reviews to cross-sectional cohort studies. Results: From the 8 studies, 1185 patients were included. The median age was 14 years (range 2–28) and 87% were male. The mean study follow up period was 16 months; 44% of patients were still under treatment, 29% of patients successfully completed treatment. 6% dropped out and 21% were lost to follow-up. Dropout was mainly caused social discomfort (7.2%) and failure of treatment (5.8%). Complications were infrequent. Mild chest discomfort or tightness was reported in 12% and skin lesions occurred in 5.1%. The overall recurrence rate was 2.6%. Conclusions: Several studies are available on measured dynamic compression. Dynamic compression appears to be a safe, non-invasive and efficient treatment to correct pectus carinatum in patients with a non-rigid thorax. Patients experience less discomfort, which in turn results in better compliance. However, accurate selection of patients based on age, pressure of initial correction and motivation is important and an objective scoring system to assess the esthetic and long-term physical and psychological results of the treatment is needed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-182
JournalSeminars in Pediatric Surgery
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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