Transtracheal Pressure for Evaluation of Decannulation Readiness

Ashley Young, Katie Walsh, Jonathan Ida, Dana M. Thompson, Inbal Hazkani*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Pediatric tracheostomy decannulation protocols vary among institutions and may include toleration of Passy Muir Valve (PMV), microlaryngoscopy and bronchoscopy (MLB) findings, and polysomnography evaluation. Transtracheal pressure (TTP) is an objective measurement utilized to evaluate PMV toleration. We aimed to investigate the role of TTP in decannulation candidates and compare TTP measurements with polysomnography and MLB findings. Methods: A retrospective cohort study of children who underwent TTP measurement during PMV trial between December 2012 and November 2022. Results: A total of 79 patients underwent TTP measurement and MLB evaluation; of these, 16 (20.3%) patients had a capped polysomnography. Twenty-eight (35.4%) patients had TTPs ≤10 cm H2O, and 51 (64.6%) patients had TTPs >10 cm H2O. The most common indication for tracheostomy was upper airway obstruction (n = 41, 51.9%), followed by a need for mechanical ventilation (n = 24, 30.4%). Twenty-five (31.6%) patients were decannulated. Patients with TTPs ≤10 cm H2O had a mean Apnea-Hypopnea Index of 0.17 ± 0.26/h compared with 6.93 ± 7.67/h in those with TTPs >10 cm H2O, p = 0.0365. Patients with TTPs >10 cm H2O were found to have a significantly higher occurrence of airway obstruction (96.1% vs. 46.4%, p < 0.0001) and multilevel airway obstruction (70.6% vs. 21.4%, p < 0.0001) on MLB. Neither TTP measured at time of PMV assessment nor capped polysomnography was associated with successful decannulation. Conclusions: TTP measurements at time of PMV evaluation are associated with polysomnography and MLB findings. One-time PMV measurements were not indicative of decannulation success. Level of Evidence: 4 Laryngoscope, 2024.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StateAccepted/In press - 2024


  • Passy-Muir valve
  • decannulation protocol
  • tracheostomy
  • transtracheal pressure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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