Testing & Diagnosis for Pectus Carinatum in Children

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How is pectus carinatum diagnosed?

Your child's doctor can diagnose pectus carinatum by examining your child.

  • The physician calculates the depth of the chest from front to back using X-rays of the chest to determine if the diameter is longer than average (if it is, that means your child has pectus carinatum).
  • X-rays also help the doctor determine the presence of scoliosis or any other abnormalities of the bones. 

Other tests your child's doctor might recommend include: 

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG)—a test that records the electrical activity of your child's heart, shows abnormal rhythms and detects heart muscle stress
  • Echocardiogram (echo)—a test that evaluates the structure and function of your child's heart by using sound waves recorded on an electronic sensor, which produce a moving picture of the heart and heart valves
  • Computed tomography (CT) scan—a test that is used to establish the level of severity of the condition and also help the surgical team plan for the procedure 

After we complete all necessary tests, Boston Children’s experts will meet to review and discuss what they have learned. Then we will meet with you and your family to discuss the results and outline the best treatment options for your child.

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- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

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