Predicting outcomes of balloon laryngoplasty in children with subglottic stenosis

Melissa Avelino, Rebecca Maunsell, Isabela Jubé Wastowski
International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology 2015, 79 (4): 532-6

UNLABELLED: The treatment of subglottic stenosis in children remains a challenge for the otolaryngologist and may involve procedures such as endoscopy, open surgery, and often both. In the recent past, high-pressure balloons have been used in endoscopic treatment due to their relative facility and high success rates.

OBJECTIVE: To report success rates in the treatment of acquired subglottic stenosis with balloon laryngoplasty in children and identify predictive factors for the success of the technique and its complications.

METHODS: Descriptive, prospective study of children who were diagnosed with acquired subglottic stenosis and underwent balloon laryngoplasty as the primary treatment.

RESULTS: Balloon laryngoplasty was performed in 48 children with an average age of 20.7 months: 31 presented with chronic subglottic stenosis and 17 with acute stenosis. Success rate was 100% for acute and 39% for chronic subglottic stenosis. Success was significantly associated with several factors, including recently acquired stenosis, initial grade of stenosis, younger patient age, and the absence of tracheotomy. Complications were transitory dysphagia observed in three children and a submucosal cyst in one of the patients.

CONCLUSIONS: Balloon laryngoplasty may be considered as a first line of treatment for acquired subglottic stenosis. In acute cases, the success rate was 100%, and even though results are less promising in chronic cases, complications were not significant and the patients can undergo open surgery without contraindications. Predictive factors of success were acute stenosis, less severe grades of stenosis, younger patient age, and the absence of tracheotomy.

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