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Disease Profile

Pectus carinatum

Prevalence estimates on Rare Medical Network websites are calculated based on data available from numerous sources, including US and European government statistics, the NIH, Orphanet, and published epidemiologic studies. Rare disease population data is recognized to be highly variable, and based on a wide variety of source data and methodologies, so the prevalence data on this site should be assumed to be estimated and cannot be considered to be absolutely correct.


Age of onset





Autosomal dominant A pathogenic variant in only one gene copy in each cell is sufficient to cause an autosomal dominant disease


Autosomal recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of each gene of the chromosome are needed to cause an autosomal recessive disease and observe the mutant phenotype


dominant X-linked dominant inheritance, sometimes referred to as X-linked dominance, is a mode of genetic inheritance by which a dominant gene is carried on the X chromosome.


recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of a gene on the X chromosome cause an X-linked recessive disorder


Mitochondrial or multigenic Mitochondrial genetic disorders can be caused by changes (mutations) in either the mitochondrial DNA or nuclear DNA that lead to dysfunction of the mitochondria and inadequate production of energy.


Multigenic or multifactor Inheritance involving many factors, of which at least one is genetic but none is of overwhelming importance, as in the causation of a disease by multiple genetic and environmental factors.


Not applicable


Other names (AKA)

Carinatum deformity of the chest


Congenital and Genetic Diseases


Pectus carinatum refers to a chest wall abnormality in which the breastbone is pushed outward. It generally presents during childhood and worsens through adolescence. If the condition occurs in isolation, it is often not associated with any additional signs or symptoms. Rarely, affected people report shortness of breath during exercise, frequent respiratory infections, and/or asthma. The underlying cause of isolated pectus carinatum is unknown. Pectus carinatum can also be associated with a variety of genetic disorders and syndromes, including Marfan syndrome, Noonan syndrome, Morquio syndrome, homocystinuria, osteogenesis imperfecta, Coffin-Lowery syndrome, cardiofaciocutaneous syndrome, and certain chromosome abnormalities. In these cases, the condition has an underlying genetic cause and is associated with additional features that are characteristic of the genetic disease. Pectus carinatum is primarily a cosmetic concern and treatment, therefore, depends on the severity of the condition and the interests of the affected person and their family. In those who choose to pursue treatment, bracing and/or surgery may be an option.[1][2][3]

Learn more

These resources provide more information about this condition or associated symptoms. The in-depth resources contain medical and scientific language that may be hard to understand. You may want to review these resources with a medical professional.

Where to Start

  • Boston Children's Hospital provides an information page on Pectus carinatum. Click on the link above to access this information.
  • MedlinePlus was designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, and it provides more information about this topic.

In-Depth Information

  • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
  • The Monarch Initiative brings together data about this condition from humans and other species to help physicians and biomedical researchers. Monarch’s tools are designed to make it easier to compare the signs and symptoms (phenotypes) of different diseases and discover common features. This initiative is a collaboration between several academic institutions across the world and is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Visit the website to explore the biology of this condition.
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Pectus carinatum. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.


  1. Pectus carinatum. Medscape Reference. August 2013; https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003321.htm.
  2. Mary E Cataletto, MD. Pectus Carinatum. Medscape Reference. October 2015; https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1003047-overview.
  3. Jed G Nuchtern, MD, FACS, FAAP; Oscar H Mayer, MD. Pectus carinatum. UpToDate. March 2014;