Subglottic stenosis associated with Wegener's granulomatosis

Michael B. Gluth, Patrick A. Shinners, Jan L. Kasperbauer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

97 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate the outcomes of subglottic stenosis in patients with Wegener's granulomatosis. Study Design: Retrospective chart review. Methods: A retrospective chart review was undertaken to review all patients evaluated in an otolaryngology - head and neck surgery department between 1993 and 2001 for active symptoms attributed to subglottic stenosis who had undergone cytoplasmic staining antineutrophil cytoplasm antibody and perninuclear staining antineutrophil cytoplasm antibody testing and who had a clinical diagnosis of Wegener's granulomatosis. Results: Twenty-seven patients were identified with Wegener's granulomatosis and subglottic stenosis. Among these, 11 of 27 (40.7%) underwent tracheotomy; 13 of 27 (48.1%) required multiple surgical procedures. A history of open laryngotracheal repair was present in 7 of 27 patients (25.9%). CO2 laser resection and dilation was used in 12 of 27 patients (44.4%). Three of 27 patients (11.1%) had a tracheotomy at last follow-up. Patients were followed for an average duration of 76.8 months (6.4 y) from the onset of symptoms attributed to subglottic stenosis. All patients who underwent open laryngotracheal reconstruction had successful decannulation. Conclusions: Wegener's granulomatosis is a necrotizing vasculitis that can involve the subglottis. Our approach to airway management in these patients involves a tracheotomy if obstruction occurs during acute inflammatory activity. We recommend minimizing airway manipulation during episodes of systemic disease activity. Once control of the disease process is obtained, consideration is given to either an endoscopic or an open approach based on the extent of stenosis. Either laryngotracheal reconstruction or CO2 laser resection and dilation may be undertaken with safety and should result in favorable outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1304-1307
Number of pages4
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2003


  • Subglottic stenosis
  • Vasculitis
  • Wegener's granulomatosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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