Epiglottitis natural history, complications and prognosis

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Prince Tano Djan, BSc, MBChB [2]

Overview

If left untreated, epiglottitis may result in respiratory obstruction and death within a few hours.[1] Acute epiglottitis may be complicated by the following:[2][3][3][4][5] epiglottic abscess, emphysematous epiglottitis, septic epiglottic chondritis with or without abscessation, airway obstruction and pneumonia. With appropriate and timely diagnosis and treatment, the prognosis is usually good.[6]

Natural history

If left untreated, epiglottitis may result in respiratory obstruction and death within a few hours.[1]

Complications

Acute epiglottitis may lead to the following complications:[2][3][3][4][5]

Prognosis

Epiglottitis can be a life-threatening emergency. However, with appropriate and timely diagnosis and treatment usually results in a complete recovery.[6]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Rivers RL (1979). "Acute epiglottitis (supraglottitis)". J Forensic Sci. 24 (2): 470–2. PMID 541622.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Infernuso T, Watts AE, Ducharme NG (2006). "Septic epiglottic chondritis with abscessation in 2 young Thoroughbred racehorses". Can Vet J. 47 (10): 1007–10. PMC 1571119. PMID 17078251.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Rohrbach MR, Shabani S, Wieland A (2016). "Airway Obstruction Secondary to Emphysematous Epiglottitis: A Case Report". Am J Case Rep. 17: 834–836. PMC 5102242. PMID 27821835.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Chang HW, Lin WJ, Hu SY (2013). "Acute epiglottitis complicating an emphysematous abscess". CJEM. 15 (3): 184–5. PMID 23663468.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Hsieh JK, Phelan MP, Wu G, Bricker A, Anne S (2015). "Epiglottic abscess". Am J Emerg Med. 33 (5): 734.e5–7. doi:10.1016/j.ajem.2014.10.036. PMID 25456339.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Mathoera RB, Wever PC, van Dorsten FR, Balter SG, de Jager CP (2008). "Epiglottitis in the adult patient". Neth J Med. 66 (9): 373–7. PMID 18931398.

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