Preliminary Diagnosis: Subglottic stenosis

I. What imaging technique is first-line for this diagnosis

  • Airway fluoroscopy.

II. Describe the advantages and disadvantages of this technique for diagnosis of subglottic stenosis.

Advantages
  • Fast, inexpensive imaging modality.

  • Exposes the patient to minimal ionizing radiation.

  • Highly sensitive for detecting subglottic stenosis.

Disadvantages
  • Limited in evaluating for any underlying laryngeal lesion.

  • Less specific in detecting subglottic stenosis than other imaging modalities

III. What are the contraindications for the first-line imaging technique?

  • No specific contraindications exist.

IV. What alternative imaging techniques are available?

  • CT with contrast

V. Describe the advantages and disadvantages of the alternative techniques for diagnosis of subglottic stenosis.

CT with contrast
Advantages
  • Highly sensitive and specific for evaluating for subglottic stenosis.

  • Able to detail and characterize any underlying laryngeal lesion with exquisite detail and accuracy.

Disadvantages
  • Exposes patients to ionizing radiation.

VI. What are the contraindications for the alternative imaging techniques?

CT with contrast
  • CT imaging may be contraindicated in pregnant patients.

  • Relative contraindication to contrast use in patients with renal failure

  • Relative contraindication to contrast use in patients with contrast allergy