The Pediatric Airway

  • Robert H. Cleveland
  • Edward Y. Lee
  • Mary Shannon Fracchia
  • Dennis Rosen


In addition to the various developmental and normal physiologic factors that influence the airway, certain diseases and congenital defects may cause structural abnormalities. Many of these may present with upper airway obstruction. The differential diagnosis for extrathoracic airway obstruction is extensive and includes obstructions of the nasal passages, oropharynx, larynx, and the glottis. Anatomic abnormalities of the chin and tongue, such as micrognathia and macroglossia, can cause obstruction. In the naso-pharynx, obstruction is caused by nasal polyps and a persistence of the bucconasal membrane, as seen in choanal atresia or nasal piriform aperture stenosis. Within the oropharynx, adenoid-tonsillar enlargement, as well as peri-tonsillar and retropharyngeal abscesses, can obstruct the airway.


Obstructive Sleep Apnea Esophageal Atresia Bronchiolitis Obliterans Bronchial Wall Choanal Atresia 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert H. Cleveland
    • 1
    • 2
  • Edward Y. Lee
    • 3
  • Mary Shannon Fracchia
    • 4
  • Dennis Rosen
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of RadiologyHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  2. 2.Departments of Radiology and Medicine, Division of Respiratory DiseasesChildren’s Hospital BostonBostonUSA
  3. 3.Division of Thoracic Imaging, Departments of Radiology and Medicine, Pulmonary DivisionChildren’s Hospital Boston, Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  4. 4.Pediatric Pulmonary DepartmentMassachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  5. 5.Division of Respiratory DiseasesHarvard Medical School, Children’s Hospital BostonBostonUSA

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