Epiglotitis

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[edit] Discussion of Epiglotitis

  • Acute epiglottitis is a life-threatening disease
  • Usually is bacterial in origin (Haemophilus influenzae). Incidence has decreased secondary to Haemophilus influenzae immunization.
  • Peak age is 3.5 years. This is older age group than croup patients.


  • Sudden onset with no history of a preceding upper respiratory tract infection.
  • Often dysphagia is more pronounced than stridor, and it may be accompanied by high fever and drooling.
  • Because of the risk of rapid progression of the condition leading to sudden complete obstruction of the upper airway, radiographs should be obtained expeditiously with minimal manipulation of the neck.
  • It is advisable that the examination be performed with portable equipment or that someone capable of intubating the child is available while the child is in the radiology department.


[edit] Imaging Findings for Epiglotitis

  • Classic lateral radiographic findings include thickening of the epiglottis and aryepiglottic folds (Thumb sign)

[edit] Images

Patient #1

[edit] External Links

[edit] References for Epiglotitis