Diagnosis and management of type 1 laryngeal cleft

Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2003 Jun;67(6):591-6. doi: 10.1016/s0165-5876(03)00058-2.


Posterior laryngeal clefts have been reported as exceptionally rare congenital anomalies. We demonstrate that type 1 posterior laryngeal clefts are more common than previously described, by reporting a series of 12 type 1 posterior laryngeal clefts diagnosed at our institution over a 12-month period. Typically, type 1 posterior laryngeal clefts are managed conservatively. In our series, 75% of the clefts were treated successfully with endoscopic repair, following failure of conservative management. This suggests surgical repair may be warranted in a greater number of type 1 posterior laryngeal clefts in an attempt to prevent associated morbidity, secondary to aspiration, pneumonia and respiratory distress. We highlight the importance of educating other paediatric specialities in maintaining a high index of suspicion for the presence of a posterior laryngeal cleft when treating patients with suggestive symptoms. This leads to early referral and diagnosis.

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Laryngeal Diseases / congenital*
  • Laryngeal Diseases / diagnosis
  • Laryngeal Diseases / therapy*
  • Laryngoscopy
  • Male
  • Otorhinolaryngologic Surgical Procedures
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Time Factors