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Tracheostomy for paediatric obstructive sleep apnoea: A systematic review

  • S Fray (a1), A Biello (a1), J Kwan (a1), Y A Kram (a2), K Lu (a3) and M Camacho (a2)...

To search the international literature (any language) for publications reporting outcomes of tracheostomy performed to treat obstructive sleep apnoea in children.


Data sources included: Google Scholar, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, Embase, Scopus, and PubMed/Medline. Four authors searched systematically through to 20 January 2018.


A total of 597 studies were screened; 64 were downloaded and 11 met criteria. A total of 196 patients underwent tracheostomy (mean age, 4.2 years; range, newborn to 18 years); 40 had detailed qualitative data and 6 had detailed quantitative data. Apnoea/hypopnoea index showed a 97 per cent reduction (n = 2) and apnoea index showed a 98 per cent reduction (n = 3). Lowest oxygen saturation showed a 34 oxygen saturation point improvement (n = 3). Several patients demonstrated significant improvement in breathing. All identified patients were syndromic, had significant co-morbidities or had severe obstructive sleep apnoea.


Based on reports of children who have undergone a tracheostomy, for whom there are pre- and post-operative data, tracheostomy appears to be a successful treatment for obstructive sleep apnoea. However, additional research is recommended given the small number of patients in the literature.

Corresponding author
Author for correspondence: Dr Macario Camacho, Department of Surgery, Division of Otolaryngology, Tripler Army Medical Center, 1 Jarrett White Rd, HI 96859, USA E-mail:
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Dr M Camacho takes responsibility for the integrity of the content of the paper

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The Journal of Laryngology & Otology
  • ISSN: 0022-2151
  • EISSN: 1748-5460
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