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Balloon dilatation for paediatric airway stenosis: Evidence from the UK Airway Intervention Registry

Lookup NU author(s): Steven Powell, Kim Keltie, Helen Cole, Dr Andrew SimsORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


© 2019 The Authors. Clinical Otolaryngology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Objectives: To assess the safety and efficacy in routine clinical practice of balloon dilatation procedures in the treatment of paediatric airway stenosis. Design: Observational data collection in prospective online research database. Setting: Acute NHS Trusts with ENT department undertaking complex paediatric airway work. Participants: Children (<18) undergoing balloon dilatation treatment for airway stenosis. Main outcome measures: Airway diameter, complications, hospital resource usage. Results: Fifty-nine patients had 133 balloon procedures during 128 visits to 10 hospitals. Sixty-nine (52%) of balloon procedures were conducted with a tracheostomy. Intra-operative Cotton-Myer grade decreased in 43 (57%). The mean pre-balloon subglottic diameter was 4.2 [95% CI: 3.8 to 4.5] mm, and its rate of increase was 0.8 [0.5 to 1.2] mm per year modelled on 30 patients' long-term data. As the primary treatment of stenosis, the procedural success rate of balloon dilatation (n = 52) was 65% (22% with tracheostomy, 88% without tracheostomy), and 71% as an adjunct to open reconstructive surgery (n = 7). In the 64 hospital visits where a balloon procedure was conducted with a tracheostomy in place, only one in-hospital complication (lower respiratory tract infection) occurred. For those without a tracheostomy in place, in-hospital complications occurred in seven of 64 balloon hospital visits, all related to ongoing or worsening stenosis. Six out-of-hospital complications were deemed related to ongoing or worsening stenosis following the procedure, and two complications were a combination of lower respiratory infection and ongoing or worsening stenosis. Conclusions: Balloon dilation increases the size of the airway intraoperatively and is associated with long-term increase in airway diameter. Safety outcomes mostly relate to ongoing or worsening stenosis and are more common in patients without a tracheostomy.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Powell S, Keltie K, Burn J, Cole H, Donne A, Morrison G, Stephenson K, Daniel M, Gupta S, Wyatt M, Patrick H, Sims A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Clinical Otolaryngology

Year: 2020

Volume: 45

Issue: 3

Pages: 334-341

Print publication date: 01/05/2020

Online publication date: 16/12/2019

Acceptance date: 12/12/2019

Date deposited: 02/03/2020

ISSN (print): 1749-4478

ISSN (electronic): 1749-4486

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd


DOI: 10.1111/coa.13492

PubMed id: 31845458


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