Pediatric tracheocutaneous fistula closure following tracheostomy decannulation.Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol 2019; 125:122-127IJ
To determine the frequency and risk factors that lead to the development of persistent TCF (tracheocutaneous fistula) formation in children following tracheostomy decannulation at our institution.
A retrospective chart review of all pediatric patients at Children's Hospital Colorado who underwent tracheostomy decannulation and were being followed between January 1, 2007 and December 31, 2013. TCF was defined as a persistent fistula six months following decannulation. We determined patient demographics, age at tracheotomy, primary indication for tracheotomy, tracheostomy-tube size, medical comorbidities, age at decannulation, date of TCF closure, and method of TCF closure.
One hundred twenty-nine patients ranging from 51 days to 19 years of age underwent tracheostomy decannulation. 63 (49%) patients underwent surgical closure of TCF. Compared to those with spontaneous closure by multivariable analysis, those with surgical closure were younger at tracheostomy placement (p = 0.0002), had a tracheostomy for a longer duration (p = 0.0025), and were diagnosed with tracheobronchomalacia (p = 0.0051). The likelihood of spontaneous closure decreased over time. Tracheostomy tube internal diameter correlated with age (R = 0.64, p < 0.0001).
Approximately 50% of pediatric tracheostomy stoma sites will close spontaneously. Development of a persistent TCF was associated with younger age at placement, longer duration of tracheostomy, and the presence of tracheobronchomalacia. These observations may help clinicians anticipate outcomes following tracheostomy decannulation in children.