Laryngeal Papillomatosis: Anesthetic Management

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We reviewed the anesthetic management of all children admitted with laryngeal papillomatosis during a six-year period. This included 147 endoscopies on 16 patients, most referred with advanced disease after initial care in other hospitals. Onset of the disease before age 2 was associated with the most severe upper airway involvement. Eight patients required tracheostomy at some time during treatment, and management of the shared airway during surgical manipulation was particularly difficult in these children. Inhalational induction with halothane was used routinely, with surprisingly few instances of laryngospasm or upper airway obstruction. Topical lidocaine spray and orotracheal intubation were preferred; insufflation technics were frequently abandoned when attempted. Extubation under deep anesthesia after clearing the glottis of secretions was usually followed by smooth emergence and minimal airway difficulties. There was only one instance of postoperative stridor suggesting croup. A standard anesthetic approach can be recommended, on the basis of the experience in this series, but possible variations in technic are also discussed for particular clinical applications.

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