Acquired total (grade 4) subglottic stenosis in children

L M Gustafson, B E Hartley, R T Cotton
Annals of Otology, Rhinology, and Laryngology 2001, 110 (1): 16-9
Pediatric acquired total subglottic stenosis (SGS) is a challenging problem. The management of these patients has evolved at our institution over the past 25 years. We conducted a retrospective study to evaluate the surgical management and outcomes of children with grade 4 SGS. Fifty-six patients have presented with acquired grade 4 SGS since 1981. The causes included previous surgery (34), prolonged intubation (15), bums (1), and unknown causes (6). Of the 56 patients, 44 (79%) were decannulated; 120 total procedures were performed, and 39 patients (70%) required more than 1 procedure for decannulation. The decannulation rate has risen from 67% in the 1980s to 86% in the 1990s. Patients who underwent cricotracheal resection (CTR) had a higher decannulation rate than patients who underwent laryngotracheal reconstruction (LTR) with anterior and posterior costal cartilage grafting (CCG) (92% versus 81%), and were less likely to need additional open procedures to achieve decannulation (18% versus 46%). The decannulation rate for children with grade 4 SGS has improved because of advances in surgical technique. Currently, the principal operations used at our institution are 1) CTR and 2) LTR with anterior and posterior CCG. There was a trend toward a higher decannulation rate in patients who underwent CTR, and they were less likely to require further reconstructive surgery before decannulation.

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