JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Proposal of the TBN Classification of Thoracic Anomalies and Treatment Algorithm for Poland Syndrome.

BACKGROUND: Poland syndrome is a congenital deformity characterized by unilateral anomalies of pectoralis muscles, breast, nipple, axillary fold, subcutaneous tissue, ribs, and upper limb. The thoracic anomaly, which is the pathognomonic malformation of Poland syndrome, presents a wide phenotype variability and has been classified by different authors. However, these classifications do not include all the possible phenotypes of Poland syndrome. The aim of this study is to propose a simple classification of the whole spectrum of thoracic anomalies and a treatment algorithm that could have a practical value for determining the surgical approach.

METHODS: Since 2008, 100 patients have been evaluated by the same plastic surgical team at San Martino Hospital-IST and Istituto Gaslini of Genoa, Italy, using the thorax, breast, nipple-areola complex (TBN) classification. Thoracic anomalies were classified as follows: thorax (T), from T1 (muscle defect only) to T4 (complex deformity with rib and sternal involvement); breast (B), in B1 (hypoplasia) or B2 (amastia); and nipple-areola complex (N), from N1 (dislocation <2 cm) to N3 (athelia).

RESULTS: The most frequent thoracic anomalies were T1 (47 percent) and N2 (74 percent), whereas in female patients, B1 was more frequent than B2. The surgical approach to breast and pectoral reconstruction was based not only on the patient's age and sex, but also on the type of anomaly according to the TBN classification. In particular, a two-step approach with tissue expanders was required in N2 and N3 cases, whereas in N1 patients a single step was sufficient.

CONCLUSION: The TBN classification can be a useful tool for surgical decision-making according to each specific thoracic anomaly.

CLINICAL QUESTION/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Diagnostic, IV.

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