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Outcomes Studies of Epiglottic and Base of Tongue Prolapse in Children

Authors

  • Robert F. Yellon MD, FACS,

    Corresponding author
    1. Departments of Pediatric Otolaryngology (r.f.y.), Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, Departments of Otolaryngology and Anesthesia/Critical Care Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
    • Dr. Robert F. Yellon, Department of Pediatric Otolaryngology, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, 3705 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213.
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  • Lawrence M. Borland MD

    1. Pediatric Anesthesia/Critical Care Medicine (l.m.b.), Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, Departments of Otolaryngology and Anesthesia/Critical Care Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
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  • Presented in part at the American Society of Pediatric Otolaryngology Annual Meeting, San Diego, California, U.S.A., May 2007.

Abstract

Objectives: The purpose of this study was to compare previously reported flexible fiberoptic laryngoscopy (FFL) findings of a grading system for children with epiglottic and base of tongue (EBT) prolapse with findings at follow-up FFL. Surgical outcomes and tracheotomy decannulation are also reported.

Study Design: Retrospective medical record review.

Methods: Fourteen children with EBT prolapse had transnasal FFL in the supine position on at least two occasions. Findings were graded for initial versus most recent FFL. The previously published EBT prolapse grading system was reapplied. Mean age was 8.7 years at the last evaluation. Mean interval between initial and most recent FFL was 1.9 years.

Results: At follow-up FFL, six (43%) children had the same grade of EBT prolapse, five (36%) had a milder grade, and three (21%) had a more severe grade. Five (36%) children were decannulated, and nine (64%) children remain tracheotomy dependant. Of nine children who had surgery, four (44%) were decannulated. Eight (89%) of nine children who were not decannulated have a history of developmental delay (P < .03). Twelve (86%) children had gastroesophageal reflux disease, and six (43%) had abnormal swallowing function.

Conclusions: The grading system was successfully reapplied to compare initial with follow-up findings in a cohort of children with EBT prolapse. Gastroesophageal reflux disease and swallowing dysfunction are common in this population. Judicious surgery may have some efficacy for EBT prolapse in selected patients. Many children with EBT prolapse still require tracheotomy, especially those with developmental delay.

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