Use of polysomnography to assess safe decannulation in children

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations


Background: Tracheostomy is a lifesaving procedure to secure the airway and provide respiratory support. The decision to decannulate has classically been an individual physician decision without consensus among experts. The objective of this retrospective study was to assess the safety and efficacy of a standard institutional protocol that utilizes the sleep laboratory to assist in the decannulation process. Methods: Between 2006 and 2013, patients were identified using a clinical database of decannulation studies. A protocol, finalized in 2005, was implemented for each decannulation attempt. In brief, all patients eligible for decannulation based on physician's assessment undergoes bronchoscopy. Once bronchoscopy findings reveal that the patient's airway is free of significant obstruction, decannulation is conducted in the sleep laboratory. The stoma is covered by an occlusive dressing and respiratory parameters are measured awake and asleep during the day and overnight by polysomnogram (PSG). The patient undergoes re-cannulation if the study shows significant obstruction, hypoventilation, or prolonged desaturation. Results: A total of 210 decannulation attempts were performed on 189 patients (16 patients had multiple attempts). One hundred sixty-seven (79.5%) decannulation attempts were successful. Of those successfully decannulated, four (2.4%) were recannulated within 6 months. PSG parameters, specifically the apnea-hypopnea index, percent of total sleep time with oxygen saturation levels less than 90%, and lowest oxygen saturation levels were significantly associated with successful decannulation. No deaths occurred. Conclusions: We present a safe and successful decannulation protocol that includes bronchoscopy coupled with PSG evaluation of the patient with the stoma decannulated and covered by an occlusive dressing. Pediatr Pulmonol. 2016;51:796–802.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)796-802
Number of pages7
JournalPediatric pulmonology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016


  • polysomnography
  • tracheostomy decannulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine

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    Cristea, A. I., Jalou, H. E., Givan, D. C., Davis, S. D., Slaven, J. E., & Ackerman, V. L. (2016). Use of polysomnography to assess safe decannulation in children. Pediatric pulmonology, 51(8), 796-802.