Objectives Congenital laryngomalacia (CLM) is the major cause of stridor in infants. Most cases are expected to resolve before 2 years of age, but long-term respiratory prospects are poorly described. We aimed to investigate if CLM was associated with altered laryngeal structure or function in later life.
Methods Twenty of 23 (87%) infants hospitalised at Haukeland University Hospital during 1990–2000 for CLM without comorbidities and matched controls were assessed at mean age 13 years. Past and current respiratory morbidity was recorded in a questionnaire, and spirometry performed according to standard quality criteria. Laryngoscopy was performed at rest and continuously throughout a maximal treadmill exercise test (continuous laryngoscopy exercise test (CLE-test)), and scored and classified in a blinded fashion according to preset criteria.
Results In the CLM group, laryngeal anatomy supporting CLM in infancy was described at rest in nine (45%) adolescents. Eleven (55%) reported breathing difficulties in relation to exercise, of whom 7 had similarities to CLM at rest and 10 had supraglottic obstruction during CLE-test. Overall, 6/20 had symptoms during exercise and similarities to CLM at rest and obstruction during CLE-test. In the control group, one adolescent reported breathing difficulty during exercise and two had laryngeal obstruction during CLE-test. The two groups differed significantly from each other regarding laryngoscopy scores, obtained at rest and during exercise (p=0.001 or less).
Conclusions CLM had left footprints that increased the risk of later exercise-induced symptoms and laryngeal obstruction. The findings underline the heterogeneity of childhood respiratory disease and the importance of considering early life factors.
- Exercise induced inspiratory symptoms
- Congenital laryngomalacia
- Vocal cord dysfunction
- Respiratory Disorders
- Follow-up study
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