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J Pediatr Surg. 2013 May;48(5):1049-54. doi: 10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2013.02.024.

Longer term effects of closed repair of pectus excavatum on cardiopulmonary status.

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Department of Pediatric Surgery, Alberta Children's Hospital, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T3B 6A8.



The "Nuss" repair is done for correction of moderate to severe pectus excavatum (PE). The long term cardiopulmonary and psychosocial effects of repair are uncertain. The objective of this study was to compare cardiopulmonary function and subjective evaluation of appearance and exercise tolerance pre-bar insertion with post-bar removal.


All patients underwent preoperative and post-bar (3 month) removal evaluation with complete pulmonary function tests, exercise stress testing, echocardiogram, and self-rated appearance and exercise tolerance scoring. The protocol was approved by the regional ethics board, and all families gave informed consent.


Sixty-seven patients underwent pre and post testing. Preoperative CT index was 4.4 ± 1.3. Cardiopulmonary outcomes, standardized for height and weight, showed significant improvements in FEV-1 as (pre) 81.1 ± 17.0 vs post 89.8 ± 20.5*, FVC: 91.2 ± 18.6 vs 98.9 ± 22.9*, O2 pulse: 75.8 ± 14.4 vs 80.5 ± 18.3* (each as % predicted). Both the self-ratings of appearance (2.5 ± 0.8 vs 4.4 ± 0.5) and ability to exercise (3.3 ± 0.7 vs 4.3 ± 0.6, scale 1-5) increased significantly. (All data: mean ± St Dev, *p<0.05) CONCLUSIONS: Closed repair of PE results in improvements in pulmonary and aerobic exercise function and perceived appearance and exercise tolerance. Our data suggest that the impact on appearance and self-perceived well being is greater than the physical effect.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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