<p>Objective: Indications for tracheostomy have changed over the last decades and clinical outcome varies depending on the indication for tracheostomy. By gaining more insight in the characteristics and outcome of the tracheostomized pediatric population, clinical care can be improved and a better individual prognosis can be given. Therefore, we studied the outcome of our pediatric tracheostomy population in relation to the primary indication over the last 16 years. Methods: We retrospectively included children younger than 18 years of age with a tracheostomy tube in the Erasmus Medical Center, Sophia children's hospital. The primary indication for tracheostomy, gender, age at tracheostomy, age at decannulation, comorbidity, mortality, closure of a persisting tracheocutaneous fistula after decannulation, surgery prior to decannulation and the use of polysomnography were recorded and analyzed. Results: Our research group consisted of 225 children. Reasons for a tracheostomy were first divided in two major diagnostic groups: 1) airway obstruction group (subgroups: laryngotracheal obstruction and craniofacial anomalies) and 2) pulmonary support group (subgroups: cardio-pulmonary diseases and neurological diseases). Children in the airway obstruction group were younger when receiving a tracheostomy (3.0 months vs. 31.0 months, p &lt; 0.05), they were tracheostomy dependent for a longer time (median 21.5 months vs. 2.0 months, p &lt; 0.05) and they required surgery more often (74.5% vs. 8.3%, p &lt; 0.05) than the children in the pulmonary support group. The decannulation rate of children with a laryngotracheal obstruction is high (74.8%), but low in all other subgroups (craniofacial anomalies; 38.5%, cardio-pulmonary diseases; 34.6% and neurological diseases; 52.9%). Significantly more children (36.7%) died in the pulmonary support group due to underlying comorbidity, mainly in the cardio-pulmonary diseases subgroup. Surgery for a persisting tracheocutaneous fistula was performed in 34 (37.8%) children, with a significant relationship between the duration of the tracheostomy and the persistence of a tracheocutaneous fistula. No cannula related death occurred during this study period. Conclusion: Main indications for a tracheostomy were airway obstruction and pulmonary support. Children in the airway obstruction group were younger when receiving a tracheostomy and they were tracheostomy dependent for a longer period. Within the airway obstruction group, the decannulation rate for children with laryngotracheal stenosis was high, but low for children with craniofacial anomalies. In the pulmonary support group, the decannulation rate was low and the mortality rate was high. Surgery for a persisting tracheocutaneous fistula was frequently needed.</p>

doi.org/10.1016/j.ijporl.2021.110927, hdl.handle.net/1765/136889
International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam