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Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2009 Sep;73(9):1211-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ijporl.2009.05.007. Epub 2009 Jun 12.

Objective assessment of supraglottoplasty outcomes using polysomnography.

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Princess Margaret Hospital for Children, Roberts Road, Subiaco, Perth, Western Australia 6008, Australia.



Supraglottoplasty is well documented as an effective procedure in the management of moderate to severe laryngomalacia. Traditionally assessed outcomes in the treatment of laryngomalacia include: reduced stridor, improved feeding and a resumption of weight-gain. Previous authors have documented the use of polysomnography in assessing the severity of paediatric laryngeal abnormalities. The aim of the current study was to objectively assess the efficacy of supraglottoplasty for laryngomalacia by comparing data from pre- and post-operative polysomnography.


A retrospective review was performed of patients undergoing supraglottoplasty for laryngomalacia at a tertiary referral paediatric hospital over a 35-month period. Patients were required to have undergone full overnight polysomnography both before and after supraglottoplasty. Pre- and post-operative polysomnographic results were compared and the statistical significance between mean values was determined.


From a total of 46 patients, 10 were suitable for inclusion into the study. Mean age at first presentation was 2 months and 19 days (range 30-134 days). The surgical procedure performed was bilateral division of aryepiglottic folds alone in 1 patient (1/10), bilateral division of aryepiglottic folds and bilateral trimming of arytenoid mucosa in 5 patients (5/10) and bilateral aryepiglottic fold division, bilateral arytenoid mucosal trimming and epiglottic trimming or epiglottopexy in 4 patients (4/10). Statistically significant improvements occurred in mean values for Total Sleep Time (TST) (P=0.049), Lowest Oxygen Saturation Levels (SpO2 nadir) (P=0.006), Obstructive Apnoea Hypopnoea Index (OAHI) (P=0.009) and Respiratory Disturbance Index (RDI) (P=0.002), following supraglottoplasty. An improvement in mean Transcutaneous Carbon Dioxide (TcCO2) value occurred, but did not achieve statistical significance (57.1 vs. 52.8) (P=0.259). The mean age at which post-operative polysomnography confirmed a reversal of abnormal respiratory parameters following surgery was 5 months and 18 days.


Polysomnography is an effective method for objectively assessing the efficacy of supraglottoplasty for laryngomalacia. Supraglottoplasty effectively reverses the abnormal respiratory parameters occurring in moderate to severe laryngomalacia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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