An Algorithm for Airway Management in Patients With Pierre Robin Sequence

Hicks, K. E.; Billings, K. R.; Purnell, C. A.; Carter, J. M.; Bhushan, B.; Gosain, A. K.; Thompson, D. M.; Rastatter, J. C.

J Craniofac Surg. 2018 Mar 20

Abstract

PURPOSE: Airway management in neonates with Pierre Robin sequence (PRS) can be challenging. The goal was to describe the algorithm developed by the authors over the past 8 years. METHODS: A retrospective case series analyzing airway management in neonates with PRS admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit at a tertiary care pediatric hospital was performed. The utility of the proposed algorithm for airway management incorporating more consistent use of polysomnography (PSG), and airway assessment was assessed. RESULTS: A total of 31 neonates with PRS (12 men, 19 women) with a mean gestational age of 38.2 weeks were analyzed. Thirteen (41.9%) patients had a named syndrome, chromosomal abnormality, or global delay. Twenty (64.5%) patients had pre-intervention PSG, and severe obstructive sleep apnea with an apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) >/= 10 events/hour was identified in 19 (95.0%). Mandibular distraction osteogenesis was performed in 18 (58.1%) patients, and improved the AHI on post-operative PSGs. Direct assessment of the upper and lower airways was performed in 19 patients, and 13 (68.4%) were found to have secondary airway pathology. Presence of a concomitant syndrome was significantly associated with need for tracheostomy. CONCLUSION: The algorithm differs from previous ones in that it relies on rigorous pre- and post-intervention PSG (including with a nasopharyngeal airway), as well as that it allows flexibility between treatment options given the whole-patient clinical scenario and endoscopic findings. Results from these studies may be integrated to stratify patients into those who are most likely to benefit from conservative interventions or surgical procedures.

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