To identify children who may benefit from calcium hydroxylapatite (CaHA) injection pharyngoplasty for symptomatic velopharyngeal insufficiency (VPI).
Retrospective review of children with VPI who underwent injection pharyngoplasty with CaHA.
Multidisciplinary pediatric aerodigestive center.
Children with symptomatic VPI as defined by abnormal speech associated with subjective and objective measures of hypernasality.
Posterior pharyngeal wall augmentation with injectable CaHA.
Main Outcome Measure
Nasalence scores recorded as number of standard deviations (SDs) from normalized scores, and perceptual scoring recorded as standardized weighted score and caretaker satisfaction from direct report.
Twelve children who had undergone injection pharyngoplasty with CaHA were identified. Of the 12 children, 8 demonstrated success at 3 months as defined by nasalence (<1 SD above normal nasalance scores), perceptual scoring (decrease in weighted score), and overall caretaker satisfaction. Four children were followed up for more than 24 months and continued to demonstrate stable success. The 4 children who failed the procedure all failed before the 3-month evaluation and demonstrated increased baseline severity of VPI as defined by increased preoperative nasalence scores (5.25 SD vs 2.4 SD above normalized scores), perceptual scores (weighted score, 4.25 vs 3.85), and characteristic nasendoscopy findings of a broad-based velopharyngeal gap or unilateral adynamism. Three of the 4 treatment failures occurred early in the senior author's (C.J.H.) experience with the technique.
Injection pharyngoplasty with CaHA is a useful adjunct in the treatment of children with mild VPI. Efficacy and safety have been demonstrated more than 24 months after injection. Patient selection and operative technique are critical to the success of the procedure. Success is seen most often in children with mild VPI and small well-defined velopharyngeal gaps consistent with touch closure.