epiglottitis
EPIGLOTTITIS
Epiglottitis is the inflammation of the epiglottis and supraglottic tissues (aryepilottic folds, arytenoid, uvula).
It is often characterized by an acute, rapidly progressing respiratory disease.
It is a medical emergency in children requiring immediate treatment and typically artificial airway placement.
H. influenzae type B is the most common etiologic agent in children.

Differential Diagnosis

Croup

  • Characterized by barking cough, hoarse voice, dyspnea & inspiratory stridor
  • Prominent/audible stridor w/ marked retractions may be indicative of impending respiratory obstruction

Diphtheria

  • Characterized by malaise, sore throat, anorexia, & low-grade fever
  • Pharyngeal exam shows a typical gray-white membrane adherent to the tissue that bleeds when attempted to be removed, w/c establishes the diagnosis of diphtheria vs epiglottitis
  • W/ insidious course but sudden respiratory obstruction may occur

Tracheitis

  • Patient appears febrile & symptoms mimics epiglottitis especially in patients previously on antibiotic therapy

Other Bacterial Infections

  • Retropharyngeal abscess, uvulitis, peritonsillar abscess
  • Usually ruled-out by radiographic findings & direct examination

Other Noninfectious Diagnoses

  • Foreign body aspiration
  • Hereditary angioedema
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