Use of tracheobronchography as a diagnostic tool in ventilator-dependent infants

Crit Care Med. 1998 Apr;26(4):755-9. doi: 10.1097/00003246-199804000-00028.


Objective: Comparison of investigations of the airway in ventilator-dependent infants.

Design: Consecutive infants with suspected upper airway abnormalities were investigated using rigid bronchoscopy and tracheobronchography.

Setting: Tertiary pediatric and neonatal intensive care units.

Patients: Eight infants with suspected airway abnormalities.

Interventions: Rigid bronchoscopy and tracheobronchography.

Measurements and main results: Structural abnormalities, segmental narrowing of the airways and the effect of various levels of positive-end expiratory pressures on the narrowings were documented. In six of the eight cases, additional airway abnormalities were diagnosed with tracheobronchography compared with rigid bronchoscopy.

Conclusions: In cases of suspected abnormalities of the upper airway in small infants unable to be weaned from ventilatory support, tracheobronchography may be a more reliable investigation method than rigid bronchoscopy. The ability to assess the structural and dynamic components of the airway accurately and safely allows a correct and long-term treatment plan to be established in this group of patients.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Airway Obstruction / diagnosis
  • Airway Obstruction / diagnostic imaging*
  • Airway Obstruction / etiology
  • Bronchi / abnormalities*
  • Bronchography*
  • Bronchoscopy / methods*
  • Critical Care
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal
  • Intensive Care Units, Pediatric
  • Positive-Pressure Respiration
  • Trachea / abnormalities*
  • Trachea / diagnostic imaging
  • Ventilator Weaning*