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Laryngoscope. 2015 Feb;125(2):469-74. doi: 10.1002/lary.24804. Epub 2014 Jun 26.

The association between laryngeal cleft and tracheoesophageal fistula: myth or reality?

Author information

1
Pediatric Thoracic Surgery Unit/Pediatric Surgery Service, Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre, Department of Surgery, School of Medicine, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre RS, Brazil.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES/HYPOTHESIS:

Laryngeal cleft (LC) associated with tracheoesophageal fistula (TEF) with or without esophageal atresia (EA) has rarely been described. The purpose of this study is to review our experience, clinical features, management, delay in diagnosis, and complications in children with these anomalies.

STUDY DESIGN:

Retrospective chart review at pediatric tertiary referral center.

METHODS:

Patients diagnosed with LC alone or LC and TEF over a 10-year period were included. Data including demographics, type of TEF and LC, comorbidities, symptoms, management, complications and swallowing outcomes were analyzed.

RESULTS:

There were 161 pediatric patients diagnosed with LC alone and 22 with LC and TEF. In patients with LC and TEF, aspiration was the most common presenting symptom (n = 11, 50%). Seventeen patients (77%, mean age 4 years 7 months) underwent endoscopic repair and five patients (23%) with type I clefts did not require surgery. Two patients required revision surgery. For patients with LC alone, the mean age at repair was 3.70 years (4 months-19.9 years) compared to 4.69 years (8 months-17.83 years) for patients with LC and TEF (P = 0.0187). The postoperative swallowing studies from 15 patients showed no aspiration. Mean follow-up was 4 years and 6 months.

CONCLUSION:

The diagnosis and management of LC in patients with TEF is often delayed. If a child presents with persistent aspiration after TEF repair, a complete airway endoscopy should be performed to evaluate for vocal fold mobility and cleft. Endoscopic repair is the recommended approach for those patients requiring surgical intervention.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:

4.

KEYWORDS:

Esophageal atresia; laryngeal cleft; larynx; trachea

PMID:
24964996
DOI:
10.1002/lary.24804
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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