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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.

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

Abstract

AIM:

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

DATA SYNTHESIS:

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.

CONCLUSION:

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]
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