Comparison between two assessment methods for exercise-induced laryngeal obstructions

Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2016 Feb;273(2):425-30. doi: 10.1007/s00405-015-3758-7. Epub 2015 Sep 8.


Exercise-induced laryngeal obstructions (E-ILOs) are important differential diagnoses to exercise-induced asthma and are diagnosed by the continuous laryngoscopy exercise (CLE) test. There are two different methods for evaluating the severity of E-ILOs using recordings from the CLE test; the CLE score and EILOMEA. The aim of this study was to investigate the consistency between these methods. Using their respective method, the developers of each method evaluated 60 laryngoscopic recordings from patients with different subtypes and various levels of severity of E-ILOs. The CLE score evaluates glottic and supraglottic obstructions on a 4-grade scale. EILOMEA uses software to calculate the obstruction severity on continuous scales from a still frame of the larynx during maximal obstruction giving three parameters reflecting glottic and supraglottic obstruction. The means of the EILOMEA measures differed significantly for CLE score 1 vs. 2 and 2 vs. 3, but not for 0 vs. 1 for glottic as well as supraglottic obstructions. The EILOMEA method does not distinguish between CLE score 0 and 1, but otherwise the methods correlate. Since previous studies have suggested that only CLE scores of 2 and 3 reflect a severity of E-ILOs of clinical importance, this lack of the EILOMEA method is not crucial for a correct medical evaluation.

Keywords: CLE score; Continuous laryngoscopy exercise test; E-ILO; EILOMEA; Exercise-induced respiratory difficulties.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Airway Obstruction / diagnosis*
  • Airway Obstruction / etiology
  • Asthma, Exercise-Induced / diagnosis
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Exercise Test / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Laryngeal Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Laryngeal Diseases / etiology
  • Laryngoscopy / methods*
  • Male