Retrospective analysis of factors leading to pediatric tracheostomy decannulation failure: A single-institution experience

Anuja Bandyopadhyay, A. Ioana Cristea, Stephanie D. Davis, Veda L. Ackerman, James E. Slaven, Hasnaa E. Jalou, Deborah C. Givan, Ameet Daftary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Rationale: There is a lack of evidence regarding factors associated with failure of tracheostomy decannulation. Objectives: We aimed to identify characteristics of pediatric patients who fail a tracheostomy decannulation challenge Methods:Aretrospective review was performed on all patients who had a decannulation challenge at a tertiary care center from June 2006 to October 2013. Tracheostomy decannulation failure was defined as reinsertion of the tracheostomy tube within 6 months of the challenge. Data on demographics, indications for tracheostomy, home mechanical ventilation, and comorbidities were collected. Data were also collected on specific airway endoscopic findings during the predecannulation bronchoscopy and airway surgical procedures before decannulation. We attempted to predict the decannulation outcome by analyzing associations. Measurements and Main Results: 147 of 189 (77.8%) patients were successfully decannulated on the first attempt. Tracheostomy performed due to chronic respiratory failure decreased odds for decannulation failure (odds ratio = 0.34, 95%confidence interval = 0.15-0.77). Genetic abnormalities (45%) and feeding dysfunction (93%) were increased in the population of patients failing their first attempt. The presence of one comorbidity increased the odds of failure by 68% (odds ratio = 1.68, 95% confidence interval = 1.23-2.29). Decannulation pursuit based on parental expectation of success, rather than medically determined readiness, was associated with a higher chance of failure (P = 0.01). Conclusions: Our study highlights the role of genetic abnormalities, feeding dysfunction, and multiple comorbidities in patients who fail decannulation. Our findings also demonstrate that the outcome of decannulation may be predicted by the indication for tracheostomy. Patients who had tracheostomy placed for chronic respiratory support had a higher likelihood of success. Absence of a surgically treatable airway obstruction abnormality on the predecannulation bronchoscopy increased the chances of success.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)70-75
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of the American Thoracic Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2017


  • Airway obstruction
  • Comorbidities tracheostomy
  • Decannulation failure
  • Polysomnography
  • Tracheostomy decannulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine

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