The aetiology and outcomes for patients with acquired subglottic stenosis are highly variable. This study aimed to identify risk factors for subglottic stenosis and patient characteristics that predict long-term clinical outcomes.
A retrospective review was performed on 63 patients with subglottic stenosis and 63 age-matched controls. Patient demographics and clinical characteristics were compared. Subglottic stenosis patients were further grouped according to tracheostomy status (i.e. tracheostomy never required, tracheostomy initially required but patient eventually decannulated, and tracheostomy-dependent). Patient factors from these three groups were then compared to evaluate risk factors for long-term tracheostomy dependence.
Compared to controls, patients with subglottic stenosis had a significantly higher body mass index (30.8 vs 26.0 kg/m2; p < 0.001) and were more likely to have diabetes (23.8 per cent vs 7.94 per cent; p = 0.01). Comparing tracheostomy outcomes within the subglottic stenosis group, body mass index trended towards significance (p = 0.08). Age, gender, socio-economic status, subglottic stenosis aetiology and other co-morbidities did not correlate with outcome.
Obesity and diabetes are significant risk factors for acquiring subglottic stenosis. Further investigations are required to determine if obesity is also a predictor for failed tracheostomy decannulation in subglottic stenosis.