Is a Multidisciplinary Aerodigestive Clinic More Effective at Treating Recalcitrant Aerodigestive Complaints Than a Single Specialist?

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Abstract

Objective:

To determine the utility of a pediatric multidisciplinary aerodigestive clinic (ADC) in treating recalcitrant aerodigestive conditions.

Methods:

Longitudinal observational study of presenting complaints, evaluation, management, and outcome of patients seen during 12 monthly ADCs beginning August 2013.

Results:

Fifty-five patients were seen by the ADC team (otolaryngology/gastroenterology/pulmonology/speech pathology/nurse practitioner) and followed for a mean 17.6 months (range, 12-26 months). Mean age was 4.3 years (range, 0.5-19 years). All were seen by at least 1 specialist before ADC referral but without significant improvement. Chronic cough was the most common primary symptom (44%). Clinic evaluation included flexible nasopharyngolaryngoscopy (FFL, 53%) and pulmonary function testing (36%.) FFL influenced management in 79%. An operative procedure usually combined endoscopy was warranted in 58%. Endoscopy provided high diagnostic yield, detecting laryngeal cleft (8), adenoid hypertrophy (8), vocal cord dysfunction (4), pulmonary infection (4), reflux disease (3), laryngomalacia (3), tracheomalacia (2), cilia abnormality (2), celiac disease (1), Helicobacter pylori (1), duodenal web (1), and eosinophilic esophagitis (1). Outcome was available for 48 of 55 patients, with 73% reporting resolved to markedly improved symptoms and 27% minimal to no improvement.

Conclusions:

The ADC team approach resulted in resolved to markedly improved symptoms in 73% of patients whose symptoms persisted despite seeing a single specialist prior to referral.

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