Microaspiration in infants with laryngomalacia

Fabio Midulla, Roberto Guidi, Giancarlo Tancredi, Serena Quattrucci, Felix Ratjen, Sergio Bottero, Katia Vestiti, Paola Francalanci, Renato Cutrera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives/Hypothesis: Laryngomalacia is the most common congenital laryngeal anomaly and the most frequent cause of stridor in infants. Infants with laryngomalacia may have associated respiratory symptoms other than stridor. In this study, we evaluated whether infants with laryngomalacia have episodes of microaspiration by calculating the amount of lipids present in the alveolar macrophages. Study Design: We reviewed bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) findings obtained in 14 infants with laryngomalacia and in 11 control children. Methods: BAL was performed during flexible fiberoptic bronchoscopy (FFB) to diagnose persistent stridor. The presence of microaspiration was determined by evaluating the amount of lipid per single macrophage, assigning each cell a score from 0 to 4 according to the amount of lipid in the cytoplasm. Results: The lipid-laden macrophage index was similar in patients and controls (31.5, range 12-177 vs. 45, range 35-106). In 5 of the 14 (36%) patients the index exceeded 100, and more than 25% of the cells were graded 3 and 4, indicating the presence of microaspiration. The lipid-laden macrophage index correlated significantly with the number and percentage of BAL neutrophils (Pearson correlation test, r = 0.83, P <.001 and r = 0.925, P <.001) as a marker of lung inflammation. Conclusions: Infants with laryngomalacia may have episodes of microaspiration. BAL performed during FFB to evaluate stridor may add helpful therapeutic information without increasing the risks of the procedure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1592-1596
Number of pages5
Issue number9 I
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2004


  • Infants
  • Laryngomalacia
  • Lipid-laden macrophages

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


Dive into the research topics of 'Microaspiration in infants with laryngomalacia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this