4 years ago

Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve Injury and Swallowing Dysfunction in Neonatal Aortic Arch Repair

We evaluated the incidence, clinical effect, and recovery rate of vocal cord dysfunction (VCD) and swallowing dysfunction in neonates undergoing aortic arch repair. Methods We retrospectively evaluated 101 neonates who underwent aortic arch reconstruction from 2008 to 2015. Direct flexible laryngoscopy was performed in 89 patients before initiation of postoperative oral feeding after Norwood (n = 63) and non-Norwood (n = 26) arch reconstruction. We defined VCD as immobility of vocal cords or their lack of coaptation and poor mobility. Results The incidence of VCD after aortic arch repair was 48% (n = 43). There was no significant difference between the VCD and non-VCD groups in postoperative length of stay, extubation failure, cardiopulmonary bypass, cross-clamp, selective cerebral perfusion time, operative death, and The Society of Thoracic Surgeons–European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery (STAT) Congenital Heart Surgery Mortality Categories. Placement of gastrostomy (p = 0.03) and documented aspiration (p = 0.01) were significantly more common in VCD patients. The incidence of VCD was 41% (n = 26) after Norwood and 65% (n = 17) after non-Norwood repairs (p = 0.06). Gastrostomy was required in 44 Norwood patients vs 9 non-Norwood patients (p = 0.004). Median length of stay was similar in Norwood patients with or without VCD (p = .28) but was significantly longer in non-Norwood patients with VCD vs those without (p = 0.002). At follow-up direct flexible laryngoscopy, VCD recovery was 74% (14 of 19) in the Norwood group and 86% (12 of 14) in the non-Norwood group. Conclusions The incidence of VCD and swallowing dysfunction in neonates undergoing aortic arch reconstruction is high. Patients with VCD have a significantly higher incidence of gastrostomy placement and aspiration. In the Norwood population, length of stay is not associated with presence or absence of VCD. More than 70% of patients in each group who had direct flexible laryngoscopy follow-up recovered vocal cord function.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0003497517305532

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