Acute epiglottitis in adults

Am J Emerg Med. 1985 Nov;3(6):543-50. doi: 10.1016/0735-6757(85)90169-x.


Acute infectious epiglottitis, a serious life-threatening disease because of its potential for sudden upper airway obstruction, is most commonly seen in children, although it can occur in adults. Because acute epiglottitis is uncommon in adults, it is often misdiagnosed. Five cases are presented that demonstrate the clinical characteristics of adult epiglottitis. Knowledge of the symptoms and signs of the disease will lead to early diagnosis and appropriate management, thereby reducing morbidity and mortality rates.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adult
  • Airway Obstruction / etiology
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Critical Care
  • Epiglottitis / complications
  • Epiglottitis / diagnosis*
  • Epiglottitis / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intubation, Intratracheal
  • Laryngitis / diagnosis*
  • Laryngoscopy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neck / diagnostic imaging
  • Radiography


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents