Birth Defects

How is the Haller Index used to measure the extent of pectus excavatum?

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  • ALyall Gorenstein, MD, Thoracic Surgery (Cardiothoracic Vascular), answered on behalf of Columbia University Department of Surgery
    The Haller Index is a measure of the extent of pectus excavatum. The Haller index is measured by means of the CT scan. It is calculated by obtaining the ratio of the horizontal distance of the inside of the ribcage and the shortest distance between the vertebrae and sternum. A Haller Index of greater than 3.25 is generally considered severe (a normal Haller Index is 2.5).
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