Upper Airway Endoscopy

  • William K. Dolen
  • John C. Selner


The interpretation of upper airway symptoms is usually based on a partial evaluation of these structures. Routine examination of the nasal passage is generally performed by inspection of the anterior nasal passage with an otoscope, or at best, with a nasal speculum. Physical examination of the paranasal sinuses consists of percussion and transillumination. These traditional methods limit the extent to which physicians can evaluate symptoms in the nose and paranasal sinuses, resulting in therapeutic decisions often made on the basis of presenting symptoms and signs (1). A more complete examination is possible with an otolaryngologist’s mirrors, but most physicians have not developed this skill (2), and most who have are rewarded with only a fleeting glance at these complex structures (3). The intricate bony structure of the skull can make interpretation of plane X-rays difficult, and even computed tomography offers only a static glimpse of the dynamic function of these areas. The medical and industrial development of instruments specifically designed for upper airway endoscopy has made a safe, convenient, and affordable alternative to previous practice available to any physician interested in comprehensive evaluation of the upper airway. This places him or her at the same advantage as his or her pulmonary and gastroenterology colleagues who routinely perform endoscopic examinations, assuming a willingness to master the technique (4).


Vocal Cord Maxillary Sinus Eustachian Tube Inferior Turbinate Middle Turbinate 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • William K. Dolen
  • John C. Selner

There are no affiliations available

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