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Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2009 Sep;73(9):1302-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ijporl.2009.06.005. Epub 2009 Jul 9.

Airway procedures and hemangiomas: treatment patterns and outcome in U.S. pediatric hospitals.

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  • 1Division of Pediatric Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Seattle Children's Hospital, 4800 Sand Point Way N.E., Seattle, WA 98105, USA.



Characterize and compare care in children with hemangiomas, who do or do not undergo airway procedures.


National retrospective cohort study of patients aged 0-18 with hemangiomas, from 33 freestanding United States pediatric hospital discharge records, 2001-2005. The main outcome measures were therapy, readmission and mortality.


Of 2890 patients diagnosed with hemangiomas, 337 (12%) underwent airway procedures. Most airway procedures were for patients between ages 1 and 11 months. Patients with hemangiomas and airway procedures had more steroid use (80%), increased readmission (30%), and increased mortality (2%) compared to hemangioma patients without airway procedures. Procedures (i.e. laser, open surgery, tracheotomy) and age over 4 months in airway procedure patients were associated with decreased readmission. Increased readmissions were associated with systemic steroid administration.


Hemangioma patients who undergo airway procedures experience increased medical and surgical therapy compared to those who do not. Readmission is increased in patients with hemangiomas and airway procedures, but surgical intervention and age greater than 4 months decreased readmission.

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