Non-invasive ventilation in children with upper airway obstruction

Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2009 Apr;73(4):551-4. doi: 10.1016/j.ijporl.2008.12.003. Epub 2009 Jan 14.


Objective: The aim of this paper is to highlight our experience with the use of non-invasive positive pressure ventilation (NIPPV) in children, neonates and pre-term infants with upper airway obstruction.

Methods: This was a retrospective review of our recent experience in using NIPPV for the management of upper airway obstruction in paediatric patients.

Results: NIPPV was successful in preventing tracheostomy in patients with significant laryngo-tracheomalacia as well as being used to optimise the timing of surgery in subglottic stenosis. Furthermore, it proved beneficial in stabilising the airway after aryepiglottoplasty and also had a role in the management of obstructive sleep apnoea.

Conclusion: The use of NIPPV in children with upper airway obstruction can be a safe and effective alternative to invasive mechanical ventilation. NIPPV can potentially be beneficial in avoiding prolonged invasive ventilation, avoiding tracheostomy, stabilizing the airway after extubation or decannulation, and management of obstructive sleep apnoea.

MeSH terms

  • Airway Obstruction / etiology
  • Airway Obstruction / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature*
  • Monitoring, Physiologic
  • Positive-Pressure Respiration / adverse effects
  • Positive-Pressure Respiration / instrumentation
  • Positive-Pressure Respiration / methods*
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / etiology
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / therapy*
  • Respiratory Sounds / etiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tracheostomy
  • Treatment Outcome