Finding suitable candidates for vacuum bell therapy in pectus excavatum patients

Eunjue Yi, Kwanghyoung Lee, Younggi Jung, Jae Ho Chung, Han Sung Kim, Sungho Lee, Hyonggin Ahn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Vacuum bell therapy has been acceptable substitute for pectus excavatum patients who want to improve their appearance but avoid surgical correction. The aim of this study was to assess the pre-treatment characteristics of patients with pectus excavatum and to establish characteristics that can potentially help identify ideal candidates for vacuum bell therapy. Expected improvements in thoracic indices were evaluated using pre-treatment chest computed tomography, which was performed before and after applying a vacuum bell device. Treatment results after 1-year of application were evaluated using changes in the Haller index before and after treatment. The patients were categorized into two groups according the post- treatment changes in Haller index calculated using chest radiographs: those with changes in Haller index less than 0.5 (Group 1) and those with greater than or equal to 0.5 (Group 2). Pre-treatment Haller index was significantly lower in Group 1 than in Group 2 (3.1 ± 0.46 vs. 4.2 ± 1.14, respectively, p < 0.001). The expected improvement in Haller index in Group 2 was significantly higher than that in Group 1 (3.3 ± 0.60 vs. 2.8 ± 0.54, respectively, p = 0.001). The cut-off value of the expected improvement in Haller index was 0.46 with a sensitivity of 75.8% and a specificity of 83.3%. Patients who demonstrated pliability with a vacuum bell were identified as suitable candidates.

Original languageEnglish
Article number22787
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Dec

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© 2021, The Author(s).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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