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Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2003 Dec;67(12):1303-9.

Adenoid tissue rhinopharyngeal obstruction grading based on fiberendoscopic findings: a novel approach to therapeutic management.

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  • 1Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University of Foggia, Italy.



A grading into four classes of hypertrophied adenoid rhinopharyngeal obstructions in children on the basis of fiberendoscopic findings to outline an effective therapeutic program according to this classification.


Ninety-eight children with chronic nasal obstruction and oral respiration were examined by anterior rhinoscopy, and fiberendoscopy. During the investigation, the fiberendoscopic images of the choanal openings were divided into four segments from the upper choanal border to the nasal floor. In view of clinical findings, 78 patients also underwent active anterior rhinomanometry.


In eight patients (8.2%), the fiberendoscopic imaging revealed that the adenoid tissue occupied only the upper segment in the rhinopharyngeal cavity (< 25%). Therefore, choanal openings were free (first degree obstructions). In 20 patients (20.4%), the adenoid tissue was confined to the upper half (< 50%) of the rhinopharyngeal cavity (second degree obstructions) and in 63 patients (64.3%) the tissue extended over the rhinopharynx (< 75%) with obstruction of choanal openings and partial closure of tube ostium (third degree obstructions). Only in seven cases (7.14%), the obstruction was almost total. As a consequence, both the tube ostium and the lower choanal border could not be observed (fourth degree obstructions).


In the first two classes of obstructions, characterized by moderate or discrete adenoid hypertrophy, adenoidectomy should not be performed. In these conditions, the causes of possible nasal obstructions are usually due to either dysmorphic, allergic or phlogistic pathologies. For the fourth degree adenoid obstructions, surgery is always recommended. The most important therapeutic problems occur in the third degree obstructions which include most patients who suffered from hypertrophied adenoids. Moreover, the therapeutic strategy can be conditioned not only by nasal respiratory difficulties but also by frequent concomitant complications such as otitis, sinusitis, sleep apnea, etc. These disorders may be caused by both nasal obstruction and/or phlogistic problems (adenoiditis).

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