Measuring the impact of surgical intervention on pediatric pectus excavatum using white light scanning

Elissa Port*, Ferdynand Hebal, Catherine Jane Hunter, Fizan Abdullah, Bryan S Malas, Marleta Reynolds

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: Objective preoperative assessment of pectus excavatum (PE) deformity in patients is limited to preoperative measurement of severity using computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Postoperative assessment is currently subjective as postoperative CT scans are not recommended in light of radiation exposure and high cost to families. White Light Scanning (WLS) is a novel 3D imaging modality that offers an alternative that is a quick, nonionizing, inexpensive, and safe strategy for measurement both pre- and postsurgery. Our prior investigation demonstrated the feasibility of using WLS to measure PE deformity and showed very strong correlation of a new WLS-derived PE severity index, the Hebal–Malas Index (HMI), with CT-derived HI. The purpose of this study was to demonstrate use of WLS to assess extent of correction of PE deformities after the Nuss procedure. Methods: WLS scan data were gathered prospectively in pediatric patients with PE from 2015 to 2018. HMI was obtained from the preoperative and postoperative WLS scans. Analysis assessed the differences of preoperative and postoperative HMI. Preoperative CT-derived HI was collected from the medical record and estimated postoperative Haller Index was calculated from HMI and correlation of HMI and HI using historical data. Results: A total of 71 patients received a preoperative CT scan and underwent surgery for PE. Of those, 63 (89%) received WLS preoperatively and 51 (72%) had complete preoperative and postoperative WLS data. The average postoperative decrease in the WLS-derived HMI was 0.35 (SD: 0.15) and 1.73 (SD: 1.03) in WLS-estimated HI. Conclusions: WLS is highly effective in objectively quantifying the extent of surgical correction in PE patients. Level of evidence: IV Type of study: Diagnostic Study

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2261-2267
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of pediatric surgery
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2019


  • Correction index
  • Nuss procedure
  • Pectus excavatum
  • Pectus excavatum repair
  • White light scanning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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