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Keywords:

  • Pediatric airway;
  • tracheostomy;
  • glossopharyngeal;
  • stridor;
  • obstructive sleep apnea

Abstract

We present a case of prominent glossopharyngeal muscles causing severe obstructive symptoms in a 3-month-old child. Preoperative sleep studies and dynamic microdirect laryngoscopy were used in evaluation of the patient. Postoperative sleep studies confirmed a substantial reduction in apneic events after release of the muscle folds. The literature addresses the variant anatomy, and treatment options are discussed. To our knowledge, this is the first case report of prominent glossopharyngeal muscles leading to apneic events. We propose that in patients with prominent glossopharyngeal folds, surgical release may significantly improve symptoms of sleep apnea and in severe cases prevent tracheostomy.