This video shows the externally visible beating heart lacking any skin or pericardial covering along with chest wall defect.
Ectopia cordis results from a failure of proper maturation of midline mesoderm and ventral body wall formation during embryonic development. The exact etiology remains unknown, but abnormalities in the lateral body wall folds are believed to be involved. Normally, the lateral body walls are responsible for fusion at the midline to form the ventral wall. Corruption of this process may underlie ectopia cordis.
Due to the rarity and rapid postpartum mortality of ectopia cordis, limited treatment options have been developed. Successful surgeries have been performed, but the mortality rate remains high.
During surgery, the heart must be repositioned and the chest wall defect must be covered. Surgeons can create a temporary closure with synthetic material.
Additional surgeries may be needed to repair any other heart or abdominal wall defects.
Repost from @medicaltalks