Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Early Hum Dev. 2012 Dec;88(12):951-5. doi: 10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2012.09.001. Epub 2012 Sep 25.

Congenital and acquired developmental problems of the upper airway in newborns and infants.

Author information

  • 1ENT Dept., Lister Hospital, Stevenage, UK.



To review the current knowledge on congenital and acquired developmental problems of the upper airway in newborns and infants.


Causes of airway obstruction include problems with the nasal airway (choanal atresia), craniofacial syndromes (Apert syndrome, Crouzon syndrome), problems with facial/tongue anatomy (Pierre-Robin syndrome), the tongue (Down syndrome), or the larynx (laryngomalacia, vocal cord palsy, subglottic stenosis, subglottic hemangioma), along with lower developmental problems (tracheo/bronchomalacia). After establishing a safe airway, a detailed assessment and appropriate management are necessary. Treatment may involve simple observation, conservative management, chest physiotherapy, CPAP ventilation, and surgery, urgently or in a second phase.


Upper airway diseases in neonates and infants may be life threatening, or challenging regarding diagnosis and management. There should be a very low threshold for referring these children, after establishing a safe airway, for a specialist opinion and care in a tertiary unit, if local facilities are limited or unavailable.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk