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Respir Physiol Neurobiol. 2012 Mar 15;180(2-3):211-7. doi: 10.1016/j.resp.2011.11.008. Epub 2011 Nov 26.

Chest wall kinematics in young subjects with Pectus excavatum.

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Section of Respiratory Rehabilitation, Fondazione Don C. Gnocchi ONLUS (IRCCS) Pozzolatico, 50020 Firenze, Italy.


Quantifying chest wall kinematics and rib cage distortion during ventilatory effort in subjects with Pectus excavatum (PE) has yet to be defined. We studied 24 patients: 19 during maximal voluntary ventilation (MVV) and 5 during MVV and cycling exercise (CE). By optoelectronic plethysmography (OEP) we assessed operational volumes in upper rib cage, lower rib cage and abdomen. Ten age-matched healthy subjects served as controls. Patients exhibited mild restrictive lung defect. During MVV end-inspiratory and end-expiratory volumes of chest wall compartments increased progressively in controls, whereas most patients avoided dynamic hyperinflation by setting operational volumes at values lower than controls. Mild rib cage distortion was found in three patients at rest, but neither in patients nor in controls did MVV or CE consistently affect coordinated motion of the rib cage. Rib cage displacement was not correlated with a CT-scan severity index. Conclusions, mild rib cage distortion rarely occurs in PE patients with mild restrictive defect. OEP contributes to clinical evaluation of PE patients.

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