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A Journal on Pediatrics, Neonatology, Adolescent Medicine,
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

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Minerva Pediatrica 2010 April;62(2):217-21


language: Italian

Acute respiratory stridor in infancy

Corsini I., Gallucci M., Di Palmo E., Bertelli L., Fabi M., Colonna S., Tassinari D., Bernardi F.

Unità Complessa di Istituti “Scienze Pediatriche Mediche e Chirurgiche” Università di Bologna, Bologna, Italia


nfantile subglottic hemangioma is a pediatric tumor of endothelial cells characterized by an initial phase of rapid proliferation (around 6 months), followed by slow involution, often leading to complete regression following the first year of life. It is most frequently found in females and it usually it occurs also in the skin. From its position it can cause a progressive airway obstruction, so early diagnosis and treatment are very important. Many treatments have been described in the literature, including systemic steroids, intralesional steroid injection, carbon dioxide laser therapy, submucous resection, interferon alfa-2 and also tracheostomy as last approach. This case report discusses a 6-month old infant, that arrived to our attention for an acute two-way stridor. Laringoscopy under general anesthesia showed a subocclusive subglottic haemangioma that closed 70% of the laryngeal airway. In agreement with our ENT specialist it was decided to begin systemic steroid therapy, first by i.v. ingection during intensive therapy with rinotracheal intubation and mechanic ventilation; after the canula removal and the hemangioma reduction, the patient took oral steroids with a gradual reduction of the dose. This case evidences the importance of laryngoscopy in the diagnosis of subglottic haemangioma; it also proves the importance of multi-disciplinary collaboration with ENT specialist and dermatologist for the diagnosis and treatment of this kind of patient. It also shows that systemic steroids are an effective alternative in the management of obstructive pediatric subglottic hemangiomas.

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