ectopia cordis

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In the most common form of ectopia cordis the heart protrudes outside the chest through a split sternum. In other forms the heart may be situated in the abdominal cavity or neck. Associated defects are the rule and death often occurs in the first days of life.

Treatment, in those whom it is possible, is surgical and involves covering the heart with skin and repair or palliation of associated defects.

Last reviewed 01/2018