Objective Outcomes of Supraglottoplasty for Children With Laryngomalacia and Obstructive Sleep Apnea: A Meta-analysis

JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2016 Jul 1;142(7):665-71. doi: 10.1001/jamaoto.2016.0830.


Importance: Surgical intervention is the main treatment alternative for patients with severe laryngomalacia. Supraglottoplasty offers effective treatment results not only for laryngomalacia but also for concurrent obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

Objective: To quantify the objective outcomes of supraglottoplasty for laryngomalacia with OSA via polysomnography data in the pediatric population.

Data sources: A comprehensive literature search of the PubMed database was performed on May 20, 2015, using the search terms supraglottoplasty, epiglottoplasty, aryepiglottoplasty, laryngomalacia, obstructive sleep apnea, Apnea-Hypopnea Index (AHI), children, and polysomnography. There were no date restrictions.

Study selection: The literature search identified English-language studies that used polysomnography to evaluate patients with laryngomalacia and OSA after supraglottoplasty. Two reviewers screened titles and abstracts of the studies. The full texts of the studies were examined to assess their relevance to the meta-analysis.

Data extraction: Numerical polysomnography data were extracted and compared among studies where appropriate. A fixed- or random-effects model was used, when appropriate, to analyze the data and calculate effect sizes.

Results: Four studies were included in various subsets of the meta-analysis. After supraglottoplasty, the Apnea-Hypopnea Index (AHI) improved by a mean of 12.5 points in 4 studies (95% CI, -21.14 to -3.78; P = .005), oxygen saturation as measured by pulse oximetry nadir by 9.49 in 4 studies (95% CI, 4.87-14.12; P < .001), and Obstructive AHI by 21 points in 2 studies (95% CI, -50.3 to -8.29; P = .16). Twenty-nine of 33 children (88%) had residual disease. Patients 7 months and older had significant improvement in the AHI (P = .03).

Conclusions and relevance: Supraglottoplasty is an effective treatment modality for patients with laryngomalacia and OSA with objectively measurable benefits; however, patients will frequently have residual disease. Additional polysomnography after treatment is advised to ensure adequate resolution of the disorder.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Glottis / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Laryngomalacia / surgery*
  • Oximetry
  • Polysomnography
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / surgery*