Pectus Carinatum | Symptoms & Causes

What are the symptoms of pectus carinatum?

The symptoms of pectus carinatum change as a child grows and matures.
In infancy, symptoms can include:

  • a hollow depression in the chest that may be broad and shallow, deep and narrow, or irregular
  • more rapid breathing than normal

In older children, symptoms can include:

  • shortness of breath upon exertion or exercise
  • chest pain
  • a lateral curvature of the spine
  • absence of the curve of the upper back
  • hooked shoulders
  • a broad thin chest

What causes pectus carinatum?

There is no known cause for pectus carinatum. Some studies investigating a genetic component are underway. Although the majority of children with pigeon chest don't involve a family history of the condition, enough do to warrant suspicion that genes may play a significant role.