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Thursday, November 23rd 2006

The Marvel Of What Can Go Wrong

This is pretty amazing.

A Child With A Heart Outside The Chest Wall

In Miami,

Naseem Hasni underwent surgery to put his heart inside his chest hours after being delivered by Caesarean section Oct. 31 at Holtz Children’s Hospital.

During the six-hour operation, surgeons first wrapped Naseem’s heart in Gore-Tex, then a layer of his own skin, to substitute for his missing pericardium, the sac that encloses the heart. The heart was then slowly eased inside his chest.

The attitude, at least judged from the AP piece, seems to be very optimistic.

More on ectopia cordis
and here with an overview of a specific case (very good read). Even though I’ve run through my CV pathology module, this congenital defect is far too rare for me to have heard of it. Plus, it really isn’t a congenital heart problem but a chest wall problem as you can see. Still, just reading some patient information sites it looks like it is associated with Turner’s and Trisomy 18. It also shows up as part of a set of five congenital defects under the name pentalogy of Cantrell but Naseem is reported to have no other defects or deficits. I wouldn’t call the child lucky obviously, but it is a pretty amazing story.

What Naseem’s Ultrasound Might Have Looked Like