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Eur J Orthod. 1999 Dec;21(6):703-10.

Long-term effect of neonatal endotracheal intubation on palatal form and symmetry in 8-11-year-old children.

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  • 1Department of Orthodontics, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, UK.

Abstract

Premature and low birth weight infants often require neonatal oral intubation for resuscitation and to relieve respiratory distress. The endotracheal tube exerts pressure on the developing palate, which can result in palatal groove formation, a high-arched palate, and palatal asymmetry. The purpose of this investigation was to determine whether such intubation can have a long-term effect on palatal form and symmetry. Arch widths, palatal widths, and palatal depths were measured from the study casts of 43, 8-11-year-old previously intubated premature and low birth weight children using a reflex microscope, with a fixed rectangular Cartesian co-ordinate system, and compared with a group of non-intubated gender- and age-matched controls. Significant differences were found between the intubated and non-intubated children. The intubated children had significantly narrower palatal widths posteriorly (P < or = 0.001), steeper palatal vaults anteriorly (P < or = 0.01), and exhibited a directional palatal width asymmetry with the left side of the palate measuring consistently wider than the right. These differences did not, however, appear to be affected by the length of intubation. Therefore, it is concluded that an oral endotracheal tube might exert excess force on the developing alveolus anteriorly with the tube being displaced to the right of the palate posteriorly leading to a steep anterior palatal vault and a left-sided palatal asymmetry, which can persist until the age of 11 years of age.

PMID:
10665200
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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