ABSTRACT Objective: To identify the presenting features of a laryngeal cleft in children. To compare rigid and flexible endoscopic methods available for identifying laryngeal cleft and determine their utility. Methods: The charts of all patients diagnosed with laryngeal cleft in a tertiary care institution between 2009 and 2010 were evaluated retrospectively for age, gender, comorbidity, presenting features, and results of bedside swallow evaluation. Findings on flexible and direct laryngoscopy, both performed under general anesthesia, were compared. Results: Eleven patients had a diagnosis of laryngeal cleft, confirmed by direct laryngoscopy. Nine of eleven had signs of aspiration on modified barium swallow study (MBSS). Of the eight subjects who underwent flexible laryngoscopy by a pulmonologist, a deep interarytenoid groove was only reported in four cases. In all eleven cases, the arytenoids could be physically separated during direct laryngoscopy, allowing for definitive diagnosis of the cleft and identification of its type and severity. Conclusion: Video swallow studies and flexible laryngoscopy may raise suspicion or even diagnose a laryngeal cleft, however, a laryngeal cleft must be confirmed by direct laryngscopy in which the interarytenoid space is palpated. Furthermore, a patient in whom symptoms persist but no laryngeal cleft is identified on flexible examination should have a direct laryngoscopy to rule out a cleft.
Cite this paper
Neubauer, P. , Rosenthal, L. , Wooten III, W. , Zdanski, C. and Drake, A. (2013) The role of direct laryngoscopy in the diagnosis of laryngeal cleft. Open Journal of Pediatrics, 3, 92-95. doi: 10.4236/ojped.2013.32017.
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