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Airway Endoscopy Best for Diagnosing Cause of Stridor

Article

In diagnosing the cause of stridor, a high-pitched breathing sound, in children, airway fluoroscopy has high specificity but low sensitivity when compared with airway endoscopy, according to a study in the April issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery.

WEDNESDAY, April 23 (HealthDay News) -- In diagnosing the cause of stridor, a high-pitched breathing sound, in children, airway fluoroscopy has high specificity but low sensitivity when compared with airway endoscopy, according to a study in the April issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery.

Eric Berg, M.D., of Emory University in Atlanta and colleagues reviewed the medical records of 39 children (mean age 18 months) with stridor who were evaluated by both airway fluoroscopy and airway endoscopy.

The researchers found that in 59 percent of patients, the diagnosis by airway endoscopy differed from the diagnosis by airway fluoroscopy. While the specificity of airway fluoroscopy in the diagnosis of laryngomalacia, tracheomalacia, airway stenosis and an airway mass was high (94 percent to 100 percent), the sensitivity was low, ranging from 20 percent to 69 percent.

"Airway fluoroscopy appears to be reliable in the diagnosis of laryngomalacia, tracheomalacia, airway stenosis, and airway masses because of its high specificity," Berg and colleagues conclude. "However, its sensitivity in detecting these common causes of stridor is poor."

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