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.
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.