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Subglottic hemangioma: a comparison of CO2 laser, Neodym-Yag laser, and tracheostomy

Subglottic hemangioma: a comparison of CO2 laser, Neodym-Yag laser, and tracheostomy

Pediatric Pulmonology 39(3): 233-237

For airway obstruction caused by subglottic hemangiomas, tracheostomy is still regarded by some as the only established therapy, despite numerous other therapeutic options. Resection with lasers was also reported, but subglottic scar formation may occur, and different laser types may have advantages over others. The charts of 46 consecutive patients over 26 years were reviewed. Until 1986, therapy involved systemic steroids or tracheostomy. Thereafter, a Neodym-Yag and after 1995 a CO2 laser was used. Mean initial stenosis was 61.0% in the first (n=15), 85.8% in the Neodym-Yag (n=14), and 86.7% in the CO2 period (n=17). Tracheostomy rates could be reduced from 76.9% to 46.9% with the Neodym-Yag and to 30.8% with the CO2 laser, and to 22.2% in children not intubated before referral. One tracheostomy obstruction resulted in severe neurological damage; granulomas required resection in 37.5%. Secondary subglottic stenosis was found in 15.4% with the Neodym-Yag, but not with the CO2 laser. With tracheostomy, 12.5% were symptom-free at age 2-3 years, vs. 25.0% in the Neodym-Yag and 41.6% in the CO2 laser period. Speech development was delayed in 75.0% with tracheostomy, and parental anxiety lessened in only 18.8% before the second birthday (68.8% without tracheostomy). Since the end of the retrospective analysis, we treated a further 21 patients (mean stenosis, 83.3%) with the CO2 laser, with only one tracheostomy (4.8%). Compared to steroids and tracheostomy, a significant reduction in morbidity and speech developmental delay, and an improved quality of life, were achieved with CO2 laser resection, and this approach was superior to the Neodym-Yag laser.

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Accession: 050439091

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PMID: 15635618

DOI: 10.1002/ppul.20164

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