Otolaryngology Utilization in Patients With Achondroplasia: Results From the CLARITY Study

Laryngoscope. 2022 Aug;132(8):1548-1554. doi: 10.1002/lary.29915. Epub 2021 Oct 28.


Objectives/hypothesis: To quantify otolaryngologic surgery utilization in patients with achondroplasia, and to identify any changes in utilization over the past four decades.

Study design: Retrospective cohort study.

Methods: A retrospective cohort study of 1,374 patients with achondroplasia enrolled in the CLARITY retrospective cohort study at four centers of multi-specialty care for patients with achondroplasia. Otolaryngologic surgeries are presented by birth cohort decade. The main outcomes were number of primary and additional otolaryngologic procedures; age at surgery; likelihood of repeated surgery; temporal trends in surgical utilization.

Results: In this cohort of 1,374 patients with achondroplasia, 620 (45.1%) had pharyngeal surgery at least once, 150 (10.9%) had pharyngeal surgery on more than one occasion, and patients who had adenoidectomy first were 2.68 times more likely to require a second pharyngeal surgery than those who had adenotonsillectomy. Seven hundred and seventy-nine (56.7%) had tympanostomy tubes placed at least once, and 447 (32.5%) had tympanostomy tubes placed more than one time. Age at first pharyngeal surgery decreased by 1.2 years per birth cohort decade, and age at tympanostomy tube placement decreased by 1.1 years per decade.

Conclusions: Patients with achondroplasia often require otolaryngologic surgery, particularly adenoidectomy and/or tonsillectomy as well as tympanostomy tube placement. Such surgery is performed now more frequently and at younger ages than in earlier decades. While otolaryngologic disease associated with achondroplasia is now recognized earlier and treated more frequently, long-term outcome studies are needed.

Level of evidence: 3 Laryngoscope, 132:1548-1554, 2022.

Keywords: Achondroplasia; adenoidectomy; adenotonsillectomy; skeletal dysplasia; tonsillectomy; tympanostomy tube.

MeSH terms

  • Achondroplasia* / complications
  • Achondroplasia* / surgery
  • Adenoidectomy / methods
  • Humans
  • Middle Ear Ventilation
  • Otolaryngology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tonsillectomy*