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March 1996

Laryngomalacia: The Search for the Second Lesion

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Children's National Medical Center, George Washington University, Washington, DC.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1996;122(3):302-306. doi:10.1001/archotol.1996.01890150076014

Objectives:  To determine the necessity of rigid endoscopy in the diagnosis and management of laryngomalacia and its associated synchronous airway lesions (SALs), to analyze the incidence of SALs associated with laryngomalacia and their significance, and to determine the need for epiglottoplasty in management of laryngomalacia.

Design:  Retrospective medical chart review.

Setting:  Tertiary care children's hospital.

Patients:  Two hundred thirty-three patients with a primary diagnosis of laryngomalacia on flexible fiberoptic laryngoscopy treated at the Children's National Medical Center, Washington, DC, from January 1, 1984, to June 30, 1994.

Interventions:  Evaluation and treatment of laryngomalacia and associated SAL by flexible fiberoptic laryngoscopy, radiographic studies, rigid endoscopy, and other surgical procedures.

Main Outcome Measures:  Resolution of airway symptoms from laryngomalacia and associated SAL.

Results:  Ninety patients (38.6%) underwent rigid endoscopy, and 12 patients (5.2%) required epiglottoplasty. Synchronous airway lesions were discovered in 44 patients (18.9%). Eleven patients (4.7%) had SALs that were considered clinically significant; nine (3.9%) of these required surgical intervention.

Conclusions:  Rigid endoscopy in evaluation of an infant with laryngomalacia is rarely necessary. Clinically significant SALs requiring surgical intervention are uncommon. Surgical intervention for laryngomalacia also is rarely necessary.(Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1996;122:302-306)

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