Laryngeal cleft: Evaluation and management

Douglas R. Johnston*, Karen Watters, Lynne R. Ferrari, Reza Rahbar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


Objectives: Review the latest diagnostic and treatment modalities for laryngeal and laryngotracheoesophageal clefts as they can be a major cause of respiratory and feeding morbidity in the infant and pediatric population. Methods: Literature review of published reports. Results: The presentation of laryngeal cleft usually involves respiratory symptoms, such as stridor, chronic cough, aspiration, and recurrent respiratory infections. Clefts of the larynx and trachea/esophagus can occur in isolation, as part of a syndrome (Opitz-Frias, VATER/VACTERL, Pallister Hall, CHARGE), or with other associated malformations (gastrointestinal, genitourinary, cardiac, craniofacial). This publication reviews the presenting signs/symptoms, diagnostic options, prognosis, and treatment considerations based on over a decade of experience of the senior author with laryngeal clefts. Conclusions: Type I laryngeal clefts can be managed medically or surgically depending on the degree of morbidity. Types II, III, and IV require endoscopic or open surgery to avoid chronic respiratory and feeding complications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)905-911
Number of pages7
JournalInternational journal of pediatric otorhinolaryngology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2014


  • Aspiration
  • Cough
  • Laryngeal cleft
  • Laryngotracheoesophageal cleft
  • Stridor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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