Prevalence of ventilation tubes in children with a tracheostomy tube

Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2013 Jan;77(1):65-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ijporl.2012.09.031. Epub 2012 Nov 3.


Objectives: To estimate the prevalence of operative ear disease in pediatric patients with tracheostomy tubes, as well as to identify risk factors predictive of operative otologic interventions in this patient cohort.

Methods: We hypothesize that the prevalence of operative middle ear disease in patients with a tracheostomy tube is greater than that of the population at large. To validate our anecdotal observations, we queried the CHCA hospital database (PHIS) regarding the association between tympanostomy tube placements in children with tracheostomies. To further investigate, a retrospective chart review was undertaken at our regional tertiary care children's hospital to determine the frequency at which tympanostomy tubes were placed in children who have a tracheostomy. Risk factors were analyzed, applying independent samples t-tests and Pearson's Chi-square test. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression models were constructed to estimate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for predictors of operative ear disease. Institutional review board (IRB) approval was obtained.

Results: Of a population of 181 patients with tracheostomies, 37 (or 20%, 95% CI 15-26%) have undergone placement of ventilation tubes in the past 3 years. No statistically significant difference was noted with regards to gender or race. The operative group had an average age of 23.0 months at the time of tracheostomy, compared to 52.5 months in the non-operative group (p=0.0022). In addition, home living situation, term birth, and craniofacial abnormalities were more frequently observed in the operative versus the non-operative group. Multivariate logistic regression models revealed the same factors as predictors of operative ear disease.

Conclusion: The presence of a tracheostomy is associated with an increased risk of requiring ventilation tube placement over the population at large. Risk factors for operative middle ear disease among these children include age at time of the tracheostomy, craniofacial abnormalities, term birth, and home living situation.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Airway Obstruction / complications
  • Airway Obstruction / diagnosis
  • Airway Obstruction / surgery*
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Databases, Factual
  • Female
  • Hospitals, Pediatric
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Ear Ventilation / methods
  • Middle Ear Ventilation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Otitis Media with Effusion / complications
  • Otitis Media with Effusion / surgery*
  • Prevalence
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sex Factors
  • Tertiary Care Centers
  • Tracheostomy / methods
  • Tracheostomy / statistics & numerical data*
  • United States