A comprehensive scoring system in correlation with perioperative airway management for neonatal Pierre Robin Sequence

Purpose

To evaluate a comprehensive scoring system which combines clinical manifestations of Pierre Robin Sequence (PRS) including severity of breathing difficulties, body weight and preoperative Cormack-Lehane grade, for its correlation with perioperative PRS airway management decision.

Design

Forty PRS children were retrospectively recruited after surgery. Specialists examined all subjects and scored for clinical manifestations (1´ - 4´), weight gain (1´- 4´), dyspnea scores (1´- 4´), and Cormack-Lehane grade (1´- 4´). The correlation of the integrated scores and the necessity of endotracheal intubation or laryngeal mask application were analyzed. In addition, the score correlation with postoperative dyspnea and/or low pulse oxygen saturation (SPO2) levels after extubation was determined.

Findings

In our study every individual patient had a score from 0´ to 16´, while the higher in the numbers represented higher risk of breathing difficulty. All patients with comprehensive scores <10 points underwent endotracheal intubation successfully. Patients scoring 10–12 points had an intubation success rate of 47%, whereas all patients scored >13 points required a laryngeal mask assisted airway management and were considered to have difficult airways. Dyspnea after extubation and postoperative low SPO2 occurred among patients who scored over 10 points.

Conclusion

In PRS patients, preoperative weight gaining status and severity of dyspnea in combination with Cormack-Lehane classification provide a scoring system that could help to optimize airway management decisions such as endotracheal intubation or laryngeal mask airway placement and has the potential to predict postoperative dyspnea or low SPO2 levels.