BACKGROUND: Stridor is one of the rare side effects of neonatal hypothermia treatment for hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy. We aimed to describe the clinical characteristics of the infants who underwent whole-body hypothermia and developed stridor.
METHODS: We reviewed the medical records of 171 infants with moderate or severe hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy who underwent hypothermia therapy. Demographics, as well as clinical characteristics, were documented.
RESULTS: A total of 18 infants developed transient stridor out of 171 infants who underwent whole-body hypothermia (10.5%). The stridor was transient and resolved in all infants. All infants with stridor received treatment with one or more of the following: racemic epinephrine, dexamethasone, positive pressure ventilation and/or heliox. Two infants required otorhinolaryngologist (ENT) evaluation due to persistent and severe symptoms, of whom one was found to have left vocal cord paresis that improved with time.
CONCLUSION: Stridor is a transient complication associated with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy and whole-body hypothermia in neonates. The exact mechanism is unclear and most likely multifactorial. ENT evaluation is recommended in the presence of prolonged symptoms or significant respiratory distress.