The role of polysomnography in decannulation of children with brain and spinal cord injuries

Amanda K. Morrow, David E. Tunkel, Joseph M. Collaco, Sharon A McGrath-Morrow, Janet C. Lam, Jennifer A. Accardo, Suzanne V. Rybczynski

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objective: The objective of this retrospective review was to determine the utility of polysomnography (PSG) in influencing the decision to decannulate pediatric patients with brain and spinal cord injuries in an inpatient rehabilitation hospital setting. Methods: Between 2010 and 2016, data were collected on pediatric patients with brain and/or spinal cord injuries who had PSG performed with the goal of decannulation. Patients underwent a decannulation protocol involving toleration of continuous tracheostomy capping and bedside tracheoscopy by otolaryngology. Decision to decannulate was determined with input from multiple disciplines. Associations were examined between decannulation success and findings on PSG as well as demographic factors, injury characteristics, otolaryngology findings, and timeline from initial injury to selected events. Results: A total of 46 patients underwent PSG, after which 38 (83%) were deemed appropriate and eight (17%) were deemed inappropriate for decannulation. Individuals who were deemed ready for decannulation had significantly lower obstructive apnea hypopnea indexes (AHI) (1.7 vs 5.4 events/h, P = 0.03), respiratory disturbance indexes (RDI) (2.4 vs 7.6 events/h, P = 0.006), and peak end tidal carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) levels (50.0 vs 58.7 torr, P = 0.009) on PSG compared to those who were not decannulated. There were no complications following decannulation prior to discharge. Conclusion: PSG provided important additional information as part of a multidisciplinary team assessment of clinical readiness for decannulation in pediatric patients with brain and spinal cord injuries who underwent a decannulation protocol. Obstructive AHI, RDI, and peak end tidal CO 2 level were associated with successful decannulation prior to discharge from inpatient rehabilitation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)333-341
Number of pages9
JournalPediatric pulmonology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2019


  • inpatient rehabilitation
  • neuromuscular weakness
  • sleep study
  • tracheostomy decannulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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