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Laryngoscope. 2001 Jan;111(1):48-51.

Neonatal subglottic stenosis--incidence and trends.

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Department of Otolaryngology and Bronchoesophagology, Rush-Presbyterian-St Luke's Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois 60012, USA.



Neonatal subglottic stenosis is a known entity arising from endotracheal tube intubation. In the 1970s and 1980s, estimates of the incidence of subglottic stenosis were in the range of 0.9% to 8.3% of intubated neonates. Because of improved techniques of handling neonates who require ventilatory support, we thought the actual incidence of neonatal subglottic stenosis in the late 1990s was much lower.


We retrospectively reviewed all neonatal intensive-care unit (NICU) admissions from 1997 at our institution, which serves as a level 3 NICU. We also performed a MEDLINE search of the reported incidence of neonatal subglottic stenosis between 1960 and 1999.


Analysis was performed to identify all children who developed subglottic stenosis at our institution. Data were also collected and analyzed with regard to average gestational age, average birth weight, average duration of intubation, and the number of children requiring tracheostomy. The reports identified in the literature were reviewed as to the incidence of subglottic stenosis.


A total of 544 neonates were admitted to the unit. Of these, 281 were intubated for an average of 11 days. No patients developed subglottic stenosis. Three patients required tracheostomies for other reasons. All studies published after 1983 reported an incidence of neonatal subglottic stenosis as less than 4.0%, and all studies published after 1990 reported an incidence of neonatal subglottic stenosis as less than 0.63%.


Although our report applies to only a single institution in a single year, after reviewing the literature we think a downward trend exists in the incidence of neonatal subglottic stenosis in the late 1990s. The current incidence of neonatal subglottic stenosis is likely between 0.0% and 2.0%.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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