The literature on ectopia cordis consists largely of case reports. Few statistics concerning the incidence of the malformation are available. Maude Abbott1 listed seven instances in 850 cases of congenital heart disease. In the report of an example in an infant, aged 15 months, in 1919, Holmes2 stated that such anomalies were by no means rare. For some, the abnormality is merely one of anatomic interest. But most people seeing this condition for the first time will feel with Greig3 that "cleft sternum associated or unassociated with ectopia cordis is sufficiently rare to appeal to the imagination as an extraordinary occurrence."
Only recent papers dealing with the subject need be cited. Cutler and Wilens,4 in 1925, reported a case of pectoral ectopia cordis and reviewed the recent literature. In 1926, Greig3 described a case showing absence of the sternum, reviewed much of the older literature,