Laryngomalacia, bronchomalacia, and tracheomalacia are commonly seen in pediatric respiratory medicine, yet their patterns and associations with other conditions are not well-understood. We prospectively video-recorded bronchoscopic data and clinical information from referred patients over a 10-year period and defined aspects of interrelationships and associations. Two hundred and ninety-nine cases of malacia disorders (34%) were observed in 885 bronchoscopic procedures. Cough, wheeze, stridor, and radiological changes were the most common symptoms and signs. The lesions were most often found in males (2:1) and on the left side (1.6:1). Concomitant malacia lesions ranged from 24% for laryngotracheobronchomalacia to 47% for tracheobronchomalacia. The lesions were found in association with other disorders such as congenital heart disorders (13.7%), tracheo-esophageal fistula (9.6%), and various syndromes (8%). Even though the understanding of these disorders is in its infancy, pediatricians should maintain a level of awareness for malacia lesions and consider the possibility of multiple lesions being present, even when one symptom predominates or occurs alone.
Copyright 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.