Topographic variations in anatomical structures of the anterior neck of children: An ultrasonographic study

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Abstract

Objective.

Tracheostomies in children are frequently used for temporary airway support during surgical procedures. In pediatric patients with congenital craniofacial malformations, preoperative assessment of the delicate anatomy of the airway is necessary. The purpose of this study was to assess the ultrasonographic anatomy of the anterior neck with regard to the performance of tracheostomy.

Study design.

Ultrasonographic investigation was done in 50 pediatric patients (age range, 6 to 15 years) to analyze the relationships among the anatomical structures that are of practical interest with respect to tracheostomy.

Results.

The data reveal that information concerning variations in anatomical structures lying in the immediate vicinity of the tracheostomy site was readily obtainable with the techniques used.

Conclusions.

In pediatric patients requiring tracheostomy for surgical treatment of severe congenital craniofacial malformations, preoperative ultrasonography may be used to diagnose individual anatomical variations at the tracheostomy site.

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