• The Journal of Laryngology, Rhinology & Otology
Research Article

Infant Vocal Cord Paralysis: A Population-Based Perspective

The Journal of Laryngology, Rhinology & Otology [2018; 1(1): 33-41]
Received: 24 March 2018, Accepted: 21 April 2018, Published: 27 April 2018


Objectives/Hypothesis: Infantile vocal cord paralysis (VCP) is an uncommon but potentially dangerous condition with a significant potential for both short and long-term deleterious sequelae. Our objectives were to utilize a population-based resource to characterize hospitalized children with VCP. Furthermore, we compare these characteristics between live born infants and infants subsequently readmitted and discharged with VCP.

Study Design: Cross Sectional Study of Pediatric Hospital Admission during the years 2006, 2009, and 2012.

Methods: The study examined inpatient admissions for pediatric patients with VC Pusing the Kids´ Inpatient Database (KID), Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP), Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Infants (age ≤ 3 years old) with VCP were characterized with respect to demographics and outcomes.

Results: An estimated 8,527 (0.06%) infants were diagnosed with VCP during their hospitalization. Of these hospitalizations, 10.1% were live born. The majority was male (52%) and Caucasian (51%). Unilateral VCP was most common (51.5%). Patients with VCP were significantly more likely to have associated intrauterine and birth co-morbidities. Concurrent neurologic and cardiac congenital anomalies were also more common. Tracheostomy was more common, even among newborns with unilateral immobility.

Conclusions: VCP is one of the most common causes of pediatric airway obstruction. Patients identified at birth have worse outcomes, specifically in terms of intubation requirements and more complicated hospital courses, compared to those diagnosed on subsequent hospitalizations. Continued inquiry into natural history, particularly among newborns, is indicated


Level of Evidence: Level II observation study

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