Acid Suppression for Laryngomalacia -Handed This Article to My ENT Colleagues

DR Duncan et al. J Pediatr 2021; 238: 42-49. Acid Suppression Does Not Improve Laryngomalacia Outcomes but Treatment for Oropharyngeal Dysphagia Might Be Protective

This retrospective cohort study with 236 subjects (55% received acid blockers) provides a compelling argument that acid suppression is unlikely to be beneficial in infants with laryngomalacia and to consider the possibility of aspiration in them as well. Among all subjects, 27% received H2RA, 11% received PPI, and 17% received both.

Key findings:

  • Subjects treated with acid suppression had a greater risk of supraglottoplasty (hazard ratio 3.36, 95% CI 1.36-8.29, P = .009), shorter time to supraglottoplasty (5.64 ± 0.92 vs 7.98 ± 1.92 months, P = .006), and increased respiratory hospitalization risk (relative risk 1.97, 95% CI 1.01-3.85, 0.047), even after adjustment for covariates
  • Subjects receiving thickening had fewer respiratory hospitalization nights and longer time to supraglottoplasty (9.3 ± 1.7 vs 4.56 ± 0.73 months, P = .004), even after adjustment.
  • Subjects with moderate-to-severe laryngomalacia were more likely to have aspiration on a video fluoroscopic swallow study (VFSS)
  • Of the 40 patients who had a supraglottoplasty, only 4 (10%) had a VFSS before and afterwards. All repeat VFSS showed improvement at a mean of 4.7 months after supraglottoplasty

It is noted that 36% of subjects underwent a VFSS and 40% had a clinical feeding evaluation. The authors note that other studies have found “a high rate of silent aspiration in laryngomalacia.”

My take:

  1. Acid blockers are unlikely to be beneficial in infants with laryngomalacia and are potentially detrimental (findings limited by retrospective design in a tertiary care setting)
  2. Symptoms in children with laryngomalacia may be due to aspiration and evaluation is needed in those with significant symptoms

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