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Keywords:

  • Laryngeal cleft;
  • aspiration;
  • airway endoscopy

Abstract

Objectives/Hypothesis:

To evaluate the clinical features of children with type I and type II laryngeal cleft and the role of conservative monitoring versus endoscopic repair in their management.

Methods:

Clinical presentation and evaluation; findings at the time of laryngoscopy, bronchoscopy, and esophagoscopy; and efficacy and outcome of conservative monitoring and endoscopic CO2 laser repair.

Results:

Eighty-one patients were evaluated for aspiration. Seventy-four patients were diagnosed as having a clinically significant laryngeal cleft. Thirty-two patients (14 males, 18 females) were monitored conservatively. Forty-nine patients (26 males, 23 females) required surgical intervention due to failed medical and feeding therapy of aspiration related to their laryngeal clefts (28 type I, 21 type II). Endoscopic CO2 laser repair was used in all these patients.

Conclusions:

Medical and feeding therapy should be the first modality of treatment in patients with laryngeal cleft type I and type II. Factors supporting surgical repair include: 1) clinically apparent aspiration with feeding, 2) severity of pulmonary status, 3) findings on modified barium swallow and chest x-ray, 4) absence of significant comorbid conditions predisposing to aspiration, 5) findings on upper aerodigestive endoscopy, and 6) poor response to medical management and feeding therapy. Laryngoscope, 2009