European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology

, Volume 276, Issue 12, pp 3419–3424 | Cite as

Transglottic corticosteroid injection for treatment of soft post-intubation subglottic stenosis: a retrospective analysis of 26 children

  • Jost KaufmannEmail author
  • Katrin Bode
  • Christian Puder
  • Michael Laschat
  • Thomas Engelhardt
  • Frank Wappler



Surgical treatment is generally recommended for severe subglottic lesions following traumatic endotracheal intubation in children. An alternative approach is early transglottic corticosteroid administration to reduce scar formation and prevent the need for subsequent surgical intervention. This technique has been practiced successfully for several decades at the Children’s Hospital of Cologne and the outcomes of 26 subsequent patients reviewed in this analysis.


All patients who underwent transglottic corticosteroid injection for treatment of post-intubation stridor and dyspnoea between 2012 and 2018 were identified and their records and endoscopy images analysed. Severity of the endoscopic findings was assessed using the Myer–Cotton classification (MCC) and an Expected Need for Surgical Intervention (ENSI) score (1 = inevitable; 2 = very likely necessary; 3 = probably avoidable and 4 = most likely not necessary) was recorded. Treatment was considered successful if the children had a complete resolution of clinical symptoms.


A total of 26 patients with a median (range) age of 1.9 (0.02–7.2) years and weight of 9.8 (1.8–25) kg were identified and included into the analysis. Endoscopic images were available for 22 children. All children underwent transglottic corticosteroid injection prior to any potential surgical treatment. A total of 22 patients (85%) improved following transglottic corticosteroid injection including 4 of 5 patients with a MCC = 3 and ENSI = 1 avoiding surgical intervention. None of the patients experienced a deterioration of clinical symptoms or endoscopic findings.


Transglottic corticosteroid injections as first-line treatment in children with severe post-endotracheal intubation trauma can successfully resolve symptoms and prevent invasive surgery.


Post-intubation stridor Subglottic stenosis Iatrogenic laryngeal lesion Paediatrics 



We discussed our observations with Hans L. J. Hoeve, MD, PhD, Rotterdam and thank him for his constructive contribution to our discussion.


No external funding was received for this work.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human rights and animal participants

All procedures performed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee (waiver of formal ethical approval by Ethics Committee of University Witten/Herdecke, May 12th 2018 due to retrospective analysis with no personal data reported) and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department for Paediatric AnaesthesiaChildren’s HospitalCologneGermany
  2. 2.Faculty for HealthUniversity Witten/HerdeckeWittenGermany
  3. 3.ENT Specialist in Private Practice and attending ENT Surgeon Children’s HospitalCologneGermany
  4. 4.Department for AnaesthesiaRoyal Children’s HospitalForesterhill, AberdeenUK

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