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Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2004 Dec;131(6):871-6.

Bacterial tracheitis reexamined: is there a less severe manifestation?

Author information

  • 1Division of Otolaryngology and Maxillofacial Surgery, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Ohio 45229-3039, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Bacterial tracheitis (BT) is a condition that can cause fatal airway obstruction. We evaluated our experience with BT over a 10-year period.

STUDY DESIGN:

Retrospective review of patients treated for BT between 1991 and 2001.

RESULTS:

Ninety-four cases were evaluated. The mean patient age was 7.9 years. At presentation, 60% were afebrile, and the mean WBC count was 10.8 x 10(3)/mm3 . Only 53% of patients required intubation. Younger children were more likely to require this intervention. S. aureus was the most commonly cultured bacteria, while isolation of M. catarrhalis was associated with a higher intubation rate. A pathologic virus was isolated in 64% of the 34 cultures performed. Only 9 patients were described as "toxic," and 6 presented in respiratory extremis. There were no deaths.

CONCLUSION AND SIGNIFICANCE:

A subset of patients with tracheal membranes has a less severe clinical appearance. Nonetheless, these patients require debridement and aggressive medical treatment. We propose that the term "exudative tracheitis" (ET) better describes this entity. Older patients who are less systemically ill and rapidly respond to local and systemic therapy are characteristic of ET.

EBM RATING:

C.

PMID:
15577783
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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