To stent or not to stent? A meta-analysis of endonasal congenital bilateral choanal atresia repair

Laryngoscope. 2016 Jan;126(1):218-27. doi: 10.1002/lary.25393. Epub 2015 May 25.


Objectives: The use of nasal stents as a postoperative adjunct following repair of choanal atresia remains controversial. The study objective was to systematically review the literature regarding the efficacy and safety of stenting following transnasal endoscopic repair of bilateral choanal atresia.

Study design: Systematic review with meta-analysis.

Methods: A comprehensive search in PubMed, EMBASE, CINAHL, and the Cochrane Library was conducted. Inclusion criteria included articles written in the English language with five or more subjects and clear intervention data and outcomes. Two independent reviewers screened studies for eligibility, appraised the level of evidence, extracted data, and resolved discrepancies by consensus. Successful surgery was defined as the absence of restenosis.

Results: Of 154 identified studies, 15 met inclusion criteria. Levels of evidence varied from level 3 to 4. Mean age at surgery ranged from 5 days to 25 months. Thirteen studies (n = 167 patients) included patients who were stented; the weighted pooled proportion of successful surgery was 65% (95% confidence interval [CI], 49-76%). Mean duration of stenting ranged from 48 hours to 16 weeks. Six studies (n = 42) evaluated patients who were not stented; the weighted pooled proportion of successful surgery was 64% (95% CI, 42-84%). Complications associated with stenting included alar injury, vestibular stenosis, columellar tear, and stent dislodgement or blockage.

Conclusions: Success rates for bilateral choanal atresia repair were similar with and without the use of nasal stents. The use of nasal stents may be associated with more complications. There is insufficient data to determine if mitomycin C is a useful therapeutic adjunct.

Keywords: CHARGE; Choanal atresia; mitomycin; restenosis; stent.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Choanal Atresia / surgery*
  • Endoscopy / methods*
  • Humans
  • Stents*