The Predictive Value of Haller Index in Patients Undergoing Pectus Bar Repair for Pectus Excavatum

Published:March 14, 2011DOI:


      The Haller index (HI) remains the standard metric to quantify the severity of pectus excavatum deformity. However, little data exist to determine how well this parameter correlates with the difficulty or early outcomes of repair.


      The study population was comprised of all patients who underwent pectus bar repair for pectus excavatum on whom adequate preoperative images on computed tomography allowed for Haller index calculation, from December 1999 to February 2010. Patients with two bars placed for repair were excluded. All images were reviewed blinded to outcome and Haller index was calculated. Pearson’s correlation was used to evaluate the relationship between age, length of operation, postoperative complications, and length of hospitalization. The correlations were performed on the entire population and then individual age groups analyzed: 5–11 y, 12–16 y, and over 17 y. Two-tailed P values were determined from the correlation coefficient and significance was defined as P ≤ 0.05.


      HI was available for 262 patients. There were 66 patients aged 5–11 y, 165 patients aged 12–16 years, and 30 patients over 17 y. The population was 80% male. In the entire population, there was a small correlation between postoperative pneumothorax and HI (R = 0.131, P = 0.05). There was no correlation between age, operative time, postoperative bar infection, or length of stay. No significant correlations existed in any of the individual age groups.


      The Haller index holds no correlation with age, operative time, postoperative bar infection, or length of stay.

      Key Words

      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


      Subscribe to Journal of Surgical Research
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


        • Haller Jr., J.A.
        • Loughlin G.M.
        Cardiorespiratory function is significantly improved following corrective surgery for severe pectus excavatum.
        J Cardiovasc Surg. 2000; 41: 125
        • Haller Jr., J.A.
        • Kramer S.S.
        • Lietman S.A.
        Use of CT scans in selection of patients for pectus excavatum surgery: A preliminary report.
        J Pediatr Surg. 1987; 22: 904
        • Nuss D.
        • Kelly R.
        • Croitoru D.
        • Katz M.A.
        10-year review of a minimally invasive technique for the correction of pectus excavatum.
        J Pediatr Surg. 1998; 33: 545
        • St Peter S.D.
        • Sharp S.W.
        • Ostlie D.J.
        • et al.
        Use of a subxiphoid incision for pectus bar placement in the repair of pectus excavatum.
        J Pediatr Surg. 2010; 45: 1361