Does anyone out there have a child with a barrel chest? My son's chest shape was normal when he was born but has changed as he has grown. His pediatricians (he's had a number since we've moved alot) never mentioned it. I asked his pediatrician when he was around 10 and his pediatrician didn't seem at all concerned. I pressed her and she told me he had a slight heart murmur but again said not to worry so I haven't too much, but recently I read that normally those with barrel chests have underlying cardiac, pulmonary and other abnormalities so now I'm really worried. Do any of you know anything about barrel chests? Thanks.
I will not be of great help here but as far as I know in many cases barrel chest is initially caused by recurrent respiratory infections and especially asthma. The lungs are basically over-inflated and the chest structure changes with it. Does or did your son have asthma? I understand that not cardiac problems are causing this but that the bone deformities and their underlying pulmonary problems would have some effect on breathing and heart beat. I am not sure if you could get a referral to a pulmonary specialist to check if your son`s breathing is okay to start with. A little boy in my neighborhood is actually wearing a chest brace, some kind of corsette, to correct something that appears like a barrel chest. Sorry if this is too vague but do not panic. A few specialist should be able to shed some light on your options.
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