Pediatric airway surgery

Pediatr Surg Int. 2017 Apr;33(4):435-443. doi: 10.1007/s00383-016-4050-7. Epub 2017 Jan 28.


Pediatric airway surgery is a challenging field in pediatric surgery. Laryngotracheal stenosis has a variety of congenital and acquired conditions that require precise assessment and tailored treatment for each individual patient. About 90% of acquired conditions are represented by subglottic stenosis (SGS) resulting as a complication of tracheal intubation. Congenital tracheal stenosis (CTS) is a rare and life-threatening malformation, usually associated with complete tracheal rings along a variable length of the trachea. Tracheomalacia (TM) is a process characterized by flaccidity of the supporting tracheal cartilage, widening of the posterior membranous wall, and reduced anterior-posterior airway caliber. The clinical presentation can vary from almost asymptomatic patients to near fatal airway obstruction. There is considerable variation in both the morphologic subtypes and the prognosis of pediatric airway. The patients are divided into three clinical groups (mild, moderate, and severe). A further division was proposed according to the presence or absence of associated anomalies. The definitive diagnosis of pediatric airway was made by means of rigid bronchoscope and computed tomography scan with three-dimensional reconstruction (3D-CT). Rigid bronchoscopy and 3D-CT confirmed the diagnosis in all the cases. Other associated anomalies include congenital heart disease, vascular anomalies, and BPFM (maldevelopment of aerodigestive tract). After definitive diagnosis of pediatric airway lesions, surgical intervention should be considered. Surgical strategy was presented on each lesion.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Constriction, Pathologic / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Laryngostenosis / surgery*
  • Larynx / embryology
  • Otorhinolaryngologic Surgical Procedures*
  • Trachea / abnormalities*
  • Trachea / embryology
  • Trachea / surgery
  • Tracheal Stenosis / surgery*
  • Tracheomalacia / surgery*

Supplementary concepts

  • Tracheal agenesis