Otolaryngological aspects of sudden infant death syndrome

Tal Marom, Udi Cinamon, Paul F. Castellanos, Marta C. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Introduction: Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is characterized by the sudden death of an apparently otherwise healthy infant, typically during sleep, and with no obvious case after a thorough post-mortem and scene death examination. Objective: To address the problem from the otolaryngologist's perspective, describe relevant pathologies, discuss controversies and suggest preventive measures in high-risk populations. Methodology: A MEDLINE search and hand search were conducted to identify reports published between 1969 and 2011 in the English language on the pathophysiology of SIDS related to the head and neck organs. Search terms included SIDS (MeSH term), SIDS and pathophysiology (text words), and SIDS and autopsy (text words). Discussion: A growing number of reports suggested head and neck organs involvement in SIDS autopsies. Laryngeal, oropharyngeal, maxillofacial, otologic, cervical vascular abnormalities and infectious etiologies, were recognized and discussed. Conclusions: Otolaryngologists should be aware of relevant pathologies, as some are treatable, if identified early enough in infancy. A proactive risk-management approach is warranted in infants presenting with certain abnormalities reviewed here.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-318
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Airway
  • Head and neck
  • Hypoxemia
  • Obstruction
  • Sudden infant death syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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