Revisiting epiglottitis: a protocol--the value of lateral neck radiographs

J Am Osteopath Assoc. 1997 Apr;97(4):227-9. doi: 10.7556/jaoa.1997.97.4.227.


A retrospective review was done on the medical records (March 1986 through December 1989) of patients referred to Pittsburgh Children's Hospital with the presumptive diagnosis of epiglottitis. Data obtained included age, final diagnosis, referring physician's radiographic evaluation/interpretation, procedures (intubation, IV administered, aerosol, cultures obtained), transport times, and long-term morbidity and mortality. The diagnostic value of lateral neck radiographs was analyzed. Lateral neck radiographs were found to be of little value in the primary evaluation of epiglottitis. Rather, skilled personnel, using an established protocol, did limit morbidity and mortality in patients with symptoms consistent with epiglottitis. All medical centers should develop a protocol for management of patients presenting with symptoms suggestive of epiglottitis.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Epiglottitis / diagnosis
  • Epiglottitis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Neck / diagnostic imaging*
  • Radiography
  • Retrospective Studies