Ravitch Surgery or Dynamic Compression Bracing for Pectus Carinatum: A Retrospective Cohort Study

Hendrik van Braak, Sjoerd A. de Beer, Sander Zwaveling, Matthijs W. N. Oomen, Justin R. de Jong

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Background: Pectus carinatum is a pediatric condition that can be treated by dynamic compression system (DCS) bracing or surgery. Several publications on DCS bracing or surgery are available; however, they do not compare both treatments. Methods: Over a 10-year period, 738 patients with pectus carinatum were treated at the Amsterdam Pectus Center (Amsterdam, The Netherlands). This study describes this 10-year experience and the results of both treatments. Results: Of the 631 patients who underwent DCS bracing treatment, 553 finished treatment, and 78 patients are still under treatment. A total of 73.8% (n = 408) of these patients finished treatment successfully, 13.6% (n = 75) experienced treatment failure, and 12.7% (n = 70) were lost to follow-up. The success rate decreased with an increasing pressure of initial compression (84.2%-67.3%). Marfan syndrome and Poland syndrome were associated with unfavorable results. Ravitch surgery was performed in 105 patients, with a success rate of 92.4%. Complications occurred in 32.4% of patients, and 6.7% of patients had complications for which surgery was needed. No relationship was found between osteotomy or sternal fixation and outcomes or complications. The Abramson procedure was performed in 2 patients. Conclusions: DCS bracing should be the treatment of choice in patients with pectus carinatum because of its noninvasiveness, good results, and lower complication rate compared with surgery. Besides pressure of initial correction, motivation is an important factor influencing outcomes, and compliance remains a major challenge in treating pectus carinatum using DCS bracing. Bracing patients before their growth spurt should be discouraged. Patients with a higher pressure of initial compression (>8.0-8.5 psi) and Marfan syndrome or Poland syndrome have poorer outcomes. In those patients, surgery may be considered.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Early online date2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2022

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