Comparison between rigid and flexible laser supraglottoplasty in the treatment of severe laryngomalacia in infants.
ABSTRACT Traditionally, laser supraglottoplasty for the treatment of severe laryngomalacia (SLM) is via rigid endoscopy (RE). Potassium-titanyl-phosphate (KTP) laser fiber can pass through a flexible endoscopy (FE) and cauterize tissue. This study is designed to evaluate and compare clinical variables between these two techniques in the treatment of SLM in infants.
A retrospective study includes four-year period of consecutive infants who received laser supraglottoplasty. In the first two years (2006-2007), conventional RE CO(2)-laser with general anesthesia and endotracheal intubation were used. In the latter two years (2008-2009), a novel technique of FE KTP-laser with intravenous sedation, nasopharyngeal oxygen and a noninvasive respiratory support (if indicated), without any artificial airway was used immediately after the diagnostic FE. After laser surgery, infants were followed for three months. Clinical variables were analyzed and compared.
A total of 57 infants (27 in RE group, 30 in FE group) were enrolled. Basic variables were similar between both groups. Clinical improvement was comparable with 88.9% and 93.3% in the RE and FE groups, respectively. There are no significant differences in mean number of laser surgery, major complications, duration of post-laser respiratory support and hospitalization days, body weight percentile between the two groups. However, the durations of waiting time, operation, ET intubation and total hospital days were significantly less in the FE group.
FE technique has similar success rate but more convenient and cost-effective than the RE technique. It may to be a practical alternative therapy for infants with SLM.