Upper airway diseases and airway management: a synopsis

Anesthesiol Clin North Am. 2002 Dec;20(4):767-87, vi. doi: 10.1016/s0889-8537(02)00019-6.


This article summarizes some of the more important upper airway conditions likely to affect airway management. A number of upper airway conditions may present difficult challenges to the anesthesiologist. For instance, infected airway structures may lead to partial airway obstruction, stridor, or even complete airway obstruction. Partial airway obstruction may be mild, as in snoring or nasal congestion, or may be more severe, perhaps requiring the use of airway adjuncts, such as a nasopharyngeal airway. Complete airway obstruction is usually managed by prompt intubation, but surgical airways are sometimes needed as a last resort.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anesthesia*
  • Humans
  • Intubation, Intratracheal*
  • Respiratory System Abnormalities
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases*