Primary cricotracheal resection in children: indications, technique and outcome

J M Triglia, R Nicollas, S Roman
International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology 2001 April 6, 58 (1): 17-25

OBJECTIVE: Treatment of subglottic stenosis has benefited greatly from development of grafting techniques such as larygontracheoplasty. Meanwhile, cricotracheal resection of the stenotic area and a major part of the cricoid cartilage have been shown to give excellent results in adults.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: From June 1993 to June 2000, we performed cricotracheal resection, as the primary surgical procedure, for acquired (n=13), congenital (n=2) or mixed (n=l) subglottic stenosis in 16 pediatric patients comprising seven boys and nine girls. At the time of surgery, the mean weight was 16 kg and the mean age was 5 years. Degree of stenosis was classified as grade II in one case, grade III in 12, and grade IV in three. Eight patients underwent two-stage procedures with postoperative tracheostomy. A rolled reinforced silastic stent was placed for a mean period of 20 days and the tracheostomy tube was removed within a mean period of 44 days after stent removal. Eight patients underwent single-stage procedures. The Portex endotracheal tube was used for a mean period of 4 days.

RESULTS: All patients underwent regular clinical and endoscopic postoperative examination. Mean follow-up was 38 months. No interference with laryngotracheal growth has been noted in any case, including the five with follow-ups longer than 5 years.

CONCLUSIONS: The indications for laryngotracheoplasty and cricotracheal resection in children with subglottic stenosis are still unclear. Decisions must be made on a case-by-case basis. In this article the authors discuss decisional factors in terms of clinical findings, surgical techniques, potential complications, and outcome.

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