Int J Med Sci 2021; 18(16):3800-3807. doi:10.7150/ijms.63828 This issue

Research Paper

Intrathoracic rib: rare rib anomaly, review of the literature and proposal for classification

Xuhong Xue, M.D.1, Sheng Zhao, M.D.2✉, Kai Li, M.D.2, Bin Zhao, M.D.2

1. Department of Orthopedics, The Second Hospital of Shanxi Medical University, Taiyuan, Shanxi, 030001, P.R. China.
2. Department of Orthopedics, The Second Hospital of Shanxi Medical University, Taiyuan, Shanxi, 030001, P.R. China.

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Citation:
Xue X, Zhao S, Li K, Zhao B. Intrathoracic rib: rare rib anomaly, review of the literature and proposal for classification. Int J Med Sci 2021; 18(16):3800-3807. doi:10.7150/ijms.63828. Available from https://www.medsci.org/v18p3800.htm

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Abstract

Graphic abstract

Background: Intrathoracic ribs are very rare congenital anomalies, and often discovered incidentally on chest X-ray. Since its first description by Lutz in 1947, approximately 50 cases have been reported in the literature till date. The aim is to review the all reported intrathoracic ribs, summarize their clinical features, and propose a potential classification.

Methods: All relevant literatures were searched and reviewed. The terms include intrathoracic rib, intrathoracic bifid rib, trans-thoracic rib and intrathoracic rib anomaly. We have summarized the first finding events, origination, distribution, related anomalies and imaging features of intrathoracic rib, and propose an updated classification.

Results: The patients' age at initial finding was from six weeks to 79 years old. Of all, sixty percent was less than 30 years old. There was no difference in gender. Most of them were reported by authors in western countries (85.3%, 58/68), and incidental findings by radiologist and respiratory physician. The intrathoracic rib occurs more frequently on the right side, and is usually single and unilateral. According to the new classification, type I and II was account for 45.6% and 35.3%, respectively.

Conclusion: Intrathoracic rib is rare findings in clinical practice. It is useful that radiologists or clinician are familiarized with the imaging appearances of these malformations. These anomalies reflect some disturbances during the embryo development, leading us to propose a potential classification that could contribute to a better understanding of this rib anomaly.

Keywords: ribs, congenital abnormalities, review, literature, classification