Recently, tracheal narrowing has been recognized as a significant comorbid condition in patients with Morquio A, also known as mucopolysaccharidosis IVA. We studied a large cohort of patients with Morquio A to describe the extent of their tracheal narrowing and its relationship to airway management during anesthesia care.
This is an observational study, collecting data retrospectively, of a cohort of patients with Morquio A. Ninety-two patients with Morquio A syndrome were enrolled, among whom 44 patients had their airway evaluated by computed tomography angiography and had undergone an anesthetic within a year of the evaluation. Our hypothesis was that the tracheal narrowing as evaluated by computed tomography angiography increases with age in patients with Morquio A. The primary aim of the study was to examine the degree of tracheal narrowing in patients with Morquio A and describe the difficulties encountered during airway management, thus increasing awareness of both the tracheal narrowing and airway management difficulties in this patient population. In addition, the degree of tracheal narrowing was evaluated for its association with age or spirometry parameters using Spearman’s rank correlation. Analysis of variance followed by the Bonferroni test was used to further examine the age-based differences in tracheal narrowing for the 3 age groups: 1 to 10 years, 11 to 20 years, and >21 years.
Patient age showed a positive correlation with tracheal narrowing (rs= 0.415; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 0.138–0.691; P = .005) with older patients having greater narrowing of the trachea. Among spirometry parameters, FEF25%–75% showed an inverse correlation with tracheal narrowing as follows: FEF25%–75% versus tracheal narrowing: (rs = −0.467; 95% CI, −0.877 to −0.057; P = .007). During anesthetic care, significant airway management difficulties were encountered, including cancelation of surgical procedures, awake intubation using flexible bronchoscope, and failed video laryngoscopy attempts.
Clinically significant tracheal narrowing was present in patients with Morquio A, and the degree of such narrowing likely contributed to the difficulty with airway management during their anesthetic care. Tracheal narrowing worsens with age, but the progression appears to slow down after 20 years of age. In addition to tracheal narrowing, spirometry values of FEF25%–75% may be helpful in the overall evaluation of the airway in patients with Morquio A.