Objectives To describe a consecutive series of children with laryngeal mobility disorders assessed by laryngeal electromyography (LEMG), to propose a grading system for LEMG findings, and to determine whether the LEMG grades correlate with requirement for tracheostomy.
Design Retrospective, observational, uncontrolled study.
Setting A single pediatric otolaryngology practice.
Patients Children who had LEMG performed and a minimum follow-up of 3 months.
Main Outcome Measures Demographic characteristics, diagnoses, surgical procedures, number of LEMG procedures, and complications were obtained. The LEMG results from the thyroarytenoid and posterior cricoarytenoid muscles were graded 0 to 4 according to amplitude and relation to the phase of respiration. A correlation analysis between the need for tracheostomy and the baseline LEMG score as well as a multivariable analysis to determine the predictors of requirement for tracheostomy were performed.
Results Between April 28, 2008, and November 2, 2011, 43 LEMG procedures were performed on 23 patients (13 girls; mean [SD] age, 1.5 [2.85] years). Eight required tracheostomy. Among the 23 patients, 16 had laryngeal paralysis (11 bilateral, 5 unilateral), 4 had laryngeal dyskinesia, and 3 had miscellaneous conditions. Fourteen had secondary large airway lesions, and 14 had a nonairway diagnosis that affected respiration. The overall LEMG results correlated negatively with requirement for tracheostomy (r = −0.4; P < .05) and were 86.36% accurate compared with endoscopy. No predictors for tracheostomy were identified.
Conclusions The LEMG grading was accurate and correlated with the requirement for tracheostomy. Combined with endoscopy, the grading may help better characterize laryngeal mobility disorders.