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A Retrospective Analysis of Stridor After Vestibular Schwannoma Surgery

Arulvelan, Appavoo MD*; Gayatri, Parthasarathi MD, FRCA, FFA*; Smita, Vimalakumari DM*; Nair, Suresh N. MCh

Journal of Neurosurgical Anesthesiology: January 2014 - Volume 26 - Issue 1 - p 17–21
doi: 10.1097/ANA.0b013e3182945267
Clinical Investigations

Background: Transient lower cranial nerve deficits may occur after surgery in the posterior cranial fossa. Stridor has been reported after cerebellopontine angle epidermoid resection. The aim of this retrospective study is to find out whether any preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative factors lead to stridor after resection of vestibular schwannoma.

Methods: Data of patients who underwent vestibular schwannoma resection from 2006 to 2011 were collected. We collected the following factors—age, sex, weight, diabetes, hypertension, preoperative cranial nerve deficits, tumor characteristics, intraoperative use of nitrous oxide, difficult endotracheal intubation, duration of surgery, postoperative cough and swallowing difficulty, limb weakness, and facial edema. Data of patients who developed stridor were compared with those who did not develop stridor. Odds ratio (OR) was used to assess the risk of developing stridor with each factor.

Results: Thirteen patients (4.65%) developed stridor in immediate postextubation period. The risk of stridor was significantly high in patients who had difficult intubation (OR=9.56), longer duration of surgery (P=0.034) and in patients who developed facial edema (OR=13.33), upperlimb weakness (OR=32.88), poor cough (OR=7.72), and swallowing difficulty (OR=24.97) in the postoperative period.

Conclusions: The identification of the exact etiology of stridor often is difficult. Our results suggest that stridor may be more likely in patients who were difficult to intubate, had longer duration of surgery, who develop facial and neck edema and upperlimb weakness, poor cough, and swallowing after surgery. Establishing airway patency with intubation of the trachea may be required if patients develop oxygen desaturation due to stridor.

*Departments of Anesthesiology

Neurosurgery, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences & Technology, Trivandrum, India

The authors have no funding or conflicts of interest to disclose.

Reprints: Parthasarathi Gayatri, MD, FRCA, FFA, Department of Anesthesiology, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences & Technology, Trivandrum 695 011, India (e-mails:;

© 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins