Dysphonia in very preterm children: A review of the evidence
S. Karger AG
Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science
School of Psychology and Social Science
Introduction: Intubation is a known risk factor for dysphonia yet is essential in the perinatal care of many very preterm infants. Children born preterm, who are frequently resuscitated with endotracheal intubation, may be at risk of dysphonia at school age and beyond. Objectives: To identify and describe the evidence pertaining to long-term voice outcomes and risk factors for developing dysphonia in preterm children. Results: In addition to case studies and series, three larger-scale studies have reported on dysphonia and voice outcomes in preterm children. Studies reporting treatment outcomes were not available. Factors associated with poor voice outcomes included female gender, birth weight <1,000 g, birth at <27 weeks' gestation, surgical closure of patent ductus arteriosus, emergency versus elective intubations and multiple intubations. Adverse voice outcomes were associated with laryngeal pathology and compensatory supraglottic compression. Conclusions: Dysphonia is a newly reported, long-term complication of preterm birth, yet the number of relevant studies remains limited. Further research is required to confirm the risk factors for developing dysphonia, which will inform future voice treatment studies.