Neonatal Lateral Epiglottic Defects

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The Annals of otology, rhinology, and laryngology


INTRODUCTION: Multiple congenital abnormalities of the epiglottis have been reported and iatrogenic injuries to the larynx and subglottis are well known. We present a new pattern of defect not previously reported in the literature.

METHODS: Epiglottic abnormalities at two institutions are reviewed. Cases of defects involving the lateral aspect of the epiglottis and aryepiglottic fold are identified. A literature review of known epiglottic defects is performed.

RESULTS: Two children possessing lateral notch injuries at the aryepiglottic attachment to the epiglottis are described. Both children have a history of multiple laryngeal instrumentation attempts and prolonged intubation. Both have swallowing difficulties and are gastrostomy dependent. Congenital epiglottic defects include aplasia and midline bifidity, however, no lateral congenital epiglottic defects have been reported.

CONCLUSION: Epiglottic defects, while rare, should be part of the differential for children with aspiration and feeding difficulties. A new pattern of defect is described and iatrogenic etiology proposed.

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ePub ahead of print