Clinical features and therapeutic management of subglottic stenosis in patients with Wegener's granulomatosis

Lupus. 2008 Sep;17(9):832-6. doi: 10.1177/0961203308089693.


The objective of the study was to evaluate the clinical features, response to treatment, and long-term outcome of subglottic stenosis (SGS) in a series of patients diagnosed as having Wegener's granulomatosis (WG) at a single institution. Subglottic stenosis developed in 6 out of 51 (11.7%) patients, in four of them in the absence of other features of active disease, and was the symptom that leads to WG diagnosis in three cases. In two cases, SGS began while the patients were receiving systemic immunosuppressive therapy for disease activity involving other sites. PR3-ANCAs were positive in four cases. An urgent tracheostomy was needed in two patients. Four patients achieved SGS clinical remission on standard treatment with glucocorticoids and cyclophosphamide, but three of them experienced repeated local relapses and required additional immunosuppressive therapy and mechanical dilations. In one case, a local relapse was successfully managed with endotracheal dilation of the stenotic segment and intralesional injection of a long-acting corticosteroid plus mechanical dilation of the stenotic segment (ILCD) without adding supplemental immunosuppressant drugs. Two patients with isolated SGS were also successfully managed with ILCD alone and did not require the institution of systemic immunosuppressive therapy. One patient underwent open surgical repair when the disease was under control. Our data suggest that Subglottic stenosis often occurs or progresses independently of other features of active WG, and that ILCD may be a safe alternative to conventional immunosuppressive therapy in patients who develop SGS in the absence of other features of active disease, allowing reducing the treatment-related toxicity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cyclophosphamide / therapeutic use*
  • Dilatation
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Glucocorticoids / therapeutic use
  • Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis / complications*
  • Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Laryngostenosis / diagnosis*
  • Laryngostenosis / etiology*
  • Laryngostenosis / therapy
  • Male
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Secondary Prevention
  • Tracheostomy
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Glucocorticoids
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Cyclophosphamide