Friday 2 July 2010
Definition: Sternal malformations are rare congenital malformations of the chest wall. Only a few cases have been reported.
Most cases are diagnosed shortly after birth and are reported only rarely in adults.
In one series of 5182 chest wall defects, 0.15% were sternal clefts.
Seventy-five percent of these patients were female.
Isolated sternal cleft is a separate entity from ectopia cordis and
other midline fusion deformities.
It may be seen in association with craniofacial hemangiomas or rarely with other vascular malformations, such as aneurysm of the ascending aorta or obliteration of the right innominate artery.
There is no known causal gene, teratogen, or nutritional deficiency. However, a mouse model in which the Hoxb-4 gene (HOXB4) was mutated yielded cleft sternum in the mouse.