Pediatric Thoracic Insufficiency Syndrome

Pediatric Thoracic Insufficiency Syndrome



Thoracic insufficiency syndrome is a congenital (present at birth) disorder that affects breathing and lung development.

Expanded overview

In general, children with thoracic insufficiency syndrome will have limited lung growth due to rib deformities and curvature of the spine. In a baby with thoracic insufficiency syndrome, there are chest wall deformities that affect breathing and lung development. As these children grow, they will be dependent on nasal oxygen or ventilator support to breathe.


In many cases, this condition is caused by a baby being born with progressive scoliosis (curvature of the spine) and severe rib fusion. Other conditions that can cause thoracic insufficiency syndrome include:


Signs and symptoms of thoracic insufficiency syndrome vary according to the cause of the condition, and may include:

  • Fusion of two or more ribs
  • Missing ribs
  • Short, narrow torso and rib cage
  • Spinal deformities

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