Dr Benjamin Finkelhor and colleagues presented a retrospective analysis of airway complications in 16 Boston (Mass) Children's Hospital patients with CHARGE (coloboma, heart disease, atresia choanae, retarded growth and development, genital hypoplasia, and ear anomalies/and or deafness) association, at the recent meeting of the American Society of Pediatric Otolaryngology in San Diego, Calif.
Nine (56% ) of 16 patients suffered significant sequela of obstructive airway events: 3 patients died, and 6 showed evidence of profound mental retardation. Of 11 patients who underwent choanal atresia repair, 70% suffered restenosis. Despite multiple revisions, only 5 of the 11 patients operated on achieved nasal patency. The authors concluded that, in light of the frequency and seriousness of hypoxic events, and the low success rate of choanal stenosis repair, patients with CHARGE may be better served by early tracheotomy than by early choanal atresia repair