The airway in patients with craniofacial abnormalities

Paediatr Anaesth. 2004 Jan;14(1):53-9. doi: 10.1046/j.1460-9592.2003.01200.x.


Airway management for patients with craniofacial disorders poses many challenges. The anaesthesiologist must be familiar with the normal bony and soft-tissue anatomy in the airway and how anatomy is altered by various congenital disorders. Specific areas to assess include the oral cavity, anterior mandibular space, maxilla, temporomandibular joint and vertebral column. Congenital conditions that may alter normal anatomy and therefore anaesthetic management include cleft lip and palate with or without Pierre Robin syndrome, craniofacial dysostosis, mandibulofacial dysostosis/Treacher Collins syndrome, hemifacial microsomia, Klippel-Feil syndrome, Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome, trisomy 21/Down's syndrome, Freeman-Sheldon/whistling face syndrome/craniocarpotarsal dysplasia, fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva, mucopolysaccharidosis and vascular malformations.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anesthesia, Inhalation*
  • Child
  • Craniofacial Abnormalities / complications*
  • Craniofacial Abnormalities / pathology
  • Craniofacial Abnormalities / surgery
  • Humans
  • Intubation, Intratracheal*