What causes laryngomalacia?

The reason that laryngomalacia occurs is not known. Various theories regarding its cause have been proposed, including anatomic abnormalities, impaired neuromuscular coordination or low muscle tone of laryngeal structures, pharyngo-laryngeal reflux (when stomach acid travels up through the esophagus and reaches the larynx), and abnormalities in the amount of air displaced when breathing (tidal volume).

The development of symptoms of laryngomalacia may result from variable combinations of these factors in each infant. Regardless of the underlying causes(s), the symptoms are due to the cartilage being "floppy," and prolapsing (collapsing) over the larynx when inhaling. This in turn causes the noises generated when breathing.

Last updated on 05-01-20

How is laryngomalacia diagnosed?

A diagnosis of laryngomalacia is often suspected based on the presence of characteristic signs and symptoms. Additional testing can then be ordered to confirm the diagnosis, evaluate the severity of the condition, and rule out other disorders that can be associated with similar features. These tests may include:

Last updated on 05-01-20

Is laryngomalacia inherited?

Laryngomalacia may be inherited in some instances. Only a few cases of familial laryngomalacia (occurring in more than one family member) have been described in the literature. In some of these cases, autosomal dominant inheritance has been suggested.

Laryngomalacia has also been reported as being associated with various syndromes. In cases where these specific syndromes are inherited, a predisposition to being born with laryngomalacia may be present. However, even within a family, not all people affected with one of these syndromes will have the exact same signs and symptoms (including laryngomalacia). Syndromes that have been associated with laryngomalacia include diastrophic dysplasia, alopecia universalis congenital, XY gonadal dysgenesis, Costello syndrome, DiGeorge syndrome, and acrocallosal syndrome. The inheritance pattern depends upon the specific syndrome present.

Last updated on 05-01-20

Name: Coping With Laryngomalacia, Inc PO Box 313
Port Monmouth, NJ, 07758, United States
Email: Url:
Name: Cure TBM c/o Jennifer Champy 128 Pennsylvania Court
Chapin, SC, 29036, United States
Phone: 1-973-534-7158 Email: Url:

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