How is pectus carinatum diagnosed?

The doctor will take the patient’s medical history and perform a physical examination. The main test for diagnosing pectus carinatum is a chest X-ray from the front and side. In certain cases, the patient may have a computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan.

In addition, patients who have heart palpitations may have an electrocardiogram (EKG) or an echocardiogram (a picture of the heart). The doctor may also check to see if the patient has scoliosis (curvature of the spine).

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/21/2019.


  • American Pediatric Surgical Association. Pectus Carinatum. Accessed 1/22/2019.
  • National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences/Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center. Pectus carinatum. Accessed 1/22/2019.
  • Desmarais TJ, Keller MS. Pectus carinatum. Curr Opin Pediatr 2013 Jun;25(3):375-81. doi: 10.1097/MOP.0b013e3283604088.

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy