Thoracic Ectopia Cordis in an Ethiopian Neonate

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Henok Tadele
Abeje Chanie


BACKGROUND: Ectopia Cordis is defined as complete or partialdisplacement of the heart outside the thoracic cavity. It is a rarecongenital defect with failure of fusion of the sternum with extrathoracic location of the heart. The estimated prevalence of this caseis 5.5 to 7.9 per million live births.CASE PRESENTATION: We had a case of a 16-hour-old maleneonate weighing 2.9kg with externally visible, beating heart overthe chest wall. Initial treatment included covering the heart withsterile-saline soaked dressing, starting systemic antibiotics andsupportive care. A staged surgical approach to this defect with theinitial aim of replacement of the heart to the thoracic cavity wasopted. The neonate died twenty minutes after the surgicalintervention due to cardiogenic shock despite adequateresuscitative measures.CONCLUSION: This case report underscores the missedopportunity of antenatal ultra-sonographic diagnosis and thechallenge of Ectopia Cordis treatment in Ethiopia.

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Author Biographies

Henok Tadele, Hawasa University, Ethiopia

Department of Pediatrics and Child Health

Abeje Chanie, HawasaUniversity, Ethiopia

Department of Surgery