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displacement of an organ into an adjacent body cavity or to the exterior. Ectopia may occur as a birth defect (anomaly of development) or as a result of injury to the walls of a cavity. Examples include ectopia of the urinary bladder to the exterior in case of partial closure of the anterior abdominal wall, ectopia of the spleen into the pleural cavity in case of hernia or traumatic rupture of the diaphragm, and hereditary ectopia lends, displacement of the crystalline lens of the eye.
Some types of ectopia are fatal, for example, ectopia cordis, congenital displacement of the heart outside the chest wall. Other types of ectopia can be corrected surgically.