The chest wall can exhibit a wide range of abnormalities, from pectus carinatum (PC), which is a protrusion defect, to pectus excavatum (PE), a depression defect. The meta-analysis aimed to evaluate the prevalence and incidence of chest wall deformities (CWDs) in children below 18.

Material and methods:
The databases of Cochrane Library, PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science, were searched until March 23, 2024, with an age limitation. The CMA version 3.0 software was used to calculate the effect sizes, presenting the event rate (ER). A subgroup analysis was conducted based on continents.

Out of 1,510 initial records, 34 articles were entered into the analysis. The pooled ER of PE, PC, pectus deformities (PDs), and rib anomaly is 0.5%, 0.6%, 1.2%, and 0.05%, respectively. The pooled ER is 11.4% for the Marfan's syndrome incidence in PDs, 19.7% for the mitral valve prolapse incidence in PDs, 6.2% for the incidence of CWD in cancers, 2.6% for the incidence of PDs in congenital heart disease, 16% for the incidence of scoliosis in PE, 11.1% for the incidence of cardiac anomalies in PDs, 13.4% for the incidence of abnormal electrocardiogram in PDs, 12.6% for the incidence of aortic root dilation in PDs, 6.3% for the tricuspid valve prolapse incidence in PDs, and 2% for the congenital heart disease incidence in PE.

The higher incidence of certain conditions in individuals with PDs underscores the importance of regular monitoring and comprehensive care for these patients.

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