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Treatment of tracheomalacia with aortopexy in children in Glasgow.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to assess outcomes of infants and children undergoing aortopexy and to try and establish which children would derive the greatest benefit from this complex intervention. Materials and

METHODS: This is a retrospective case series in a pediatric tertiary referral hospital between 1993 and 2012. A case sheet review was performed to collect demographic data and identify outcomes for each child. The effects of the subtype of tracheomalacia, weight at surgery, symptoms at presentation, surgical approach, and preoperative ventilation were considered.

RESULTS: There were 30 children who underwent aortopexy during the study period. Of the 30 children in the study, 21 children (70%) were male. The gestational age at birth ranged between 25 and 41 weeks (9 children [30%] were preterm). Age at surgery was between 2 and 140 weeks (mean; 31.5 weeks, median; 26 weeks). The onset of symptoms was between birth and 18 months (mean; 3.8 months, median; 3.5 months). The presenting symptoms were stridor (n = 9; 30%), failed extubation (n = 4; 13%), death attacks (n = 8; 27%), and cyanosis (n = 9; 30%). The underlying pathology was primary in 10 children (33%) and secondary in 18 children. The diagnosis was made by bronchoscopy in 26 children (93%). Imaging was performed in 25 children (83%). Aortopexy in our institution is performed by general pediatric surgeons (n = 8; 27%) and cardiothoracic surgeons (n = 22; 73%). In the immediately postoperative period, 25 children (83%) were thriving. Of the children that required another procedure; 1 child was reintubated (3%), 2 children had a tracheostomy (6%), 1 child had a stent (3%), and 2 children died (6%). Clinical follow-up of these children was between 1 month and 12 years. Long term, in 22 children (73%) were asymptomatic.

CONCLUSION: There were no clinical predictors of outcome identified, but aortopexy is a safe effective procedure for children with severe tracheomalacia.

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