CASE REPORTS
JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Bacterial tracheitis: a varied entity.

OBJECTIVE: The objective of the study was to highlight the different presentations of bacterial tracheitis (BT), a potential life-threatening cause of airway obstruction in children.

DESIGN: Case series.

METHODS: A review of medical records of 4 cases of BT who presented with differing signs and symptoms was performed.

RESULTS: Clinical manifestations of 4 patients with BT are presented with corresponding endoscopic appearances of the airway. Two patients were afebrile and nontoxic, and 2 had an elevated white cell count. Three had different degrees of stridor. One had a respiratory arrest. Cultures grew Staphylococcus aureus in 2 and Moraxella catarrhalis in 1 and were mixed in 1 patient. None required intubation. All were successfully treated with antibiotics and bronchoscopic debridement of the membranes.

CONCLUSIONS: Bacterial tracheitis needs a high index of suspicion because of its varied presentations. Certain forms have less severe clinical manifestations. These forms also require aggressive management as they can result in airway obstruction from membranes and edema.

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