Ectopia Cordis

Savannah Harrison

Ectopia Cordis Definition

A Latin and Greek word, which means "away/out of place" and "heart". It is a rare malformation of the heart due to its abnormal location.
The heart is located either partially or entirely outside of the chest cavity. It's estimated occurrence is 8 per 1 million births and is more likely to happen to female infants.
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Signs and Symptoms

The exact cause of the disorder is still unknown yet it is accepted as a genetic disorder. Ectopia Cordis is detected through ultrasound. The most common defects associated with the disorder are tetra of fallot, ventricular septal defect, double outlet right ventricle, Turner syndrome and trisomy 18.


Most parents consider termination of they pregnancy before the baby is born. One of the ways for surgical treatment is they cover the heart with a silastic prosthesis. There are very few treatment options because it's so uncommon and most of the infants die soon after the delivery.
Normally the prognosis is very low and it depends on three things which are, the location of the heart, how bad the defects are and if there are any abnormalities present. Most babies are stillborn and others die soon after the delivery.

Personal Statement

I chose this disorder because I find it very interesting. I never heard of Ectopia Cordis before and that it occurs in infants. I think it's important for people to know about Ectopia Cordis because it is rare and very little is known about this disorder. It is important for people to understand others diseases so they can help and support them.