Pectus Excavatum: Consensus and Controversies in Clinical Practice

Chest Wall International Group Collaborator Group

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Pectus excavatum is the most common congenital anterior chest wall deformity. Currently, a wide variety of diagnostic protocols and criteria for corrective surgery are being used. Their use is predominantly based on local preferences and experience. To date, no guideline is available, introducing heterogeneity of care as observed in current daily practice. The aim of this study was to evaluate consensus and controversies regarding the diagnostic protocol, indications for surgical correction, and postoperative evaluation of pectus excavatum. Methods: The study consisted of 3 consecutive survey rounds evaluating agreement on different statements regarding pectus excavatum care. Consensus was achieved if at least 70% of participants provided a concurring opinion. Results: All 3 rounds were completed by 57 participants (18% response rate). Consensus was achieved on 18 of 62 statements (29%). Regarding the diagnostic protocol, participants agreed to routinely include conventional photography. In the presence of cardiac impairment, electrocardiography and echocardiography were indicated. Upon suspicion of pulmonary impairment, spirometry was recommended. In addition, consensus was reached on the indications for corrective surgery, including symptomatic pectus excavatum and progression. Participants moreover agreed that a plain chest radiograph must be acquired directly after surgery, whereas conventional photography and physical examination should both be part of routine postoperative follow-up. Conclusions: Through a multiround survey, international consensus was formed on multiple topics to aid standardization of pectus excavatum care.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-199
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number1
Early online date2023
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023

Cite this