Extubation failure due to post-extubation stridor is better correlated with neurologic impairment than with upper airway lesions in critically ill pediatric patients

Yaron Harel, Amir Vardi, Raymond Quigley, Lela W. Brink, Scott C. Manning, Thomas J. Carmody, Daniel L. Levin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Scopus citations


The incidence of post-extubation stridor (PES) in a pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) and the need for reintubation is not known. Predictors of success on a subsequent extubation attempt and the efficacy of dexamethasone treatment prior to a subsequent extubation attempt are not established. In a prospective randomized double blind-controlled study in two PICU's in a university children's hospital setting, of 5,566 admissions over 35-months, we identified 32 patients who failed primary extubation and were reintubated for PES. Twenty-six patients were enrolled in the study and three subsequently excluded. Twelve were randomized to receive dexamethasone and 11 received sodium chloride placebo. Fifteen patients succeeded study extubation and eight failed. Of those receiving dexamethasone, nine patients succeeded and three failed. Of those receiving placebo, six patients succeeded and five failed. There was a poor correlation between anatomical abnormalities of the airway and failure of study extubation. Extubation failure was better correlated with neurologic impairment in the patients. We present a stridor score and demonstrate that it is an excellent predictor of success versus failure for the study extubation. Dexamethasone pre-treatment did not reduce stridor score. We are unable to conclude if dexamethasone pre-treatment reduces extubation failure. We speculate that neurologic impairment leads to extubation failure in critically ill pediatric patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-158
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 6 1997



  • corticosteroid
  • extubation
  • mechanical ventilation
  • neurologic impairment
  • pediatric critical care
  • stridor
  • upper airway

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Otorhinolaryngology

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