Chest Circumference

Definition Circumference of chest.

Landmarks Measure horizontally around the upper body at the level of the nipples or at the level just below the scapular angles Fig. 9.2. In the postpubertal female, measure just below the breasts.

Figure 9.2 Measuring chest circumference.

Instruments Tape-measure.

Position The patient should stand upright with the arms down at the sides. The measurement should be made during mid-expiration. Infants should be measured lying supine, in mid-expiration.

Alternative Measure at the nipple line, or in adults 10 cm down from the clavicles or 5 cm down from the apex of the axilla.

Remarks Chest circumference values are presented in Figs. 9.3 and 9.4. With inhalation or exhalation, the chest circumference can change. There is some value in measuring at maximum inhalation in conditions with contractures in order to get some sense of the lung volume.

Between 2 and 16 years of age, the chest circumference increases as much as 40 cm; a "growth spurt" occurs between 12 and 15 years of ages.

Pitfalls In females, it is important to make sure that the measurement excludes the breast tissue. In Noonan syndrome, the nipples tend to slip down, so the landmark for chest circumference needs to be related to a line 10 cm below clavicles, or at the fourth intercostal space.

Chest Circumference

27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 Gestational age (weeks)

Figure 9.3 Chest circumference, both sexes, at birth. From Merlob et al. (1984), by permission.

27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 Gestational age (weeks)

Figure 9.3 Chest circumference, both sexes, at birth. From Merlob et al. (1984), by permission.

Figure 9.4 Chest circumference, both sexes, birth to 16 years. From Feingold and Bossert (1974), by permission.

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Responses

  • becky
    What is the land mark of chest circumference?
    5 months ago
  • lukas
    How to measure chest circumference of infants?
    2 months ago

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