AIM To assess the effect of nasal continuous positive airways pressure (CPAP) on the dimensions of the laryngeal opening.
METHODS Nine preterm infants who had previously received ventilatory support for respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) were studied. All were receiving nasal CPAP. The laryngeal opening was visualised using a fibre optic video camera system. The ratio of width to length of the opening was measured on and off CPAP.
RESULTS In eight of the infants the width: length ratio increased on CPAP; mean change for group +24.4% (95% CI +11.9 to +37.9).
CONCLUSIONS Nasal CPAP seems to dilate the larynx. This may explain the selective beneficial effects of CPAP on mixed and obstructive apnoea.
- nasal continuous positive airway pressure
- apnoea of prematurity
- vocal cords
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