Users Online: 1140 Home Print this page Email this page Small font sizeDefault font sizeIncrease font size  
Home | About us | Editorial board | Search | Ahead of print | Current issue | Archives | Submit article | Instructions | Subscribe | Contacts | Login 

RSACP wishes to inform that it shall be discontinuing the dispatch of print copy of JOACP to it's Life members. The print copy of JOACP will be posted only to those life members who send us a written confirmation for continuation of print copy.
Kindly email your affirmation for print copies to preferably by 30th June 2019.


Table of Contents
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 30  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 91-93

Bronchoscopic topical steroid instillation in prevention of tracheal stenosis

Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care, Institute of Medical Sciences, BHU, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India

Date of Web Publication24-Jan-2014

Correspondence Address:
Ankit Agarwal
Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care, Institute of Medical Sciences, BHU, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-9185.125712

Rights and Permissions

Corrosive acid poisoning commonly results in chemical injuries to respiratory and upper gastrointestinal tract. Corrosive mucosal erosion of the larynx and trachea may occur if the patient aspirates acid. We successfully used local anti-inflammatory action of dexamethasone instilled through a fiber-optic bronchoscope for regression of mucosal edema and prevention of subsequent development of stricture in a young female.

Keywords: Fiberoptic bronchoscopy, steroid instillation, tracheal stenosis

How to cite this article:
Agarwal A, Singh D K. Bronchoscopic topical steroid instillation in prevention of tracheal stenosis. J Anaesthesiol Clin Pharmacol 2014;30:91-3

How to cite this URL:
Agarwal A, Singh D K. Bronchoscopic topical steroid instillation in prevention of tracheal stenosis. J Anaesthesiol Clin Pharmacol [serial online] 2014 [cited 2020 Aug 11];30:91-3. Available from:

  Introduction Top

Corrosive acid poisoning is quiet common in population with suicidal intent or psychiatric disorders. Systemic steroids are often used for regression of airway edema. We however, uniquely instilled steroids locally through a fiber-optic bronchoscope directly at the site of the lesion. The patient had a successful outcome.

  Case Report Top

We received a 22 year girl, a known schizophrenic, with alleged history of acid ingestion followed by multiple episodes of vomiting and abdominal pain. She presented in altered sensorium (Glasgow Coma Sacle (GCS)-E 2 V 2 M 3 ) with rapid shallow breathing. In view of her low GCS (<8), trachea was intubated with a size 7.0 mm cuffed endotracheal tube in the emergency department and she was subsequently shifted to the critical care unit for further management. She was initially put on synchronized intermittent mandatory ventilation mode with tidal volume 450 ml, respiratory rate 12/min and a pressure support of 14 cm H 2 O. Gradually her respiratory effort improved, and she could be weaned to continuous positive airway pressure mode with a pressure support of 10 cm H 2 O. Eventually, she was weaned off to T-piece within 24 h of admission to ICU and was extubated on day 2 of admission. Post-extubation arterial blood gas analysis on FiO 2 0.21 was pH-7.443, PaCO 2 -36.0 mm Hg, and PaO 2 -243 mm Hg. After around 6 h of extubation patient started developing respiratory distress with inspiratory stridor and a respiratory rate of 40-42 breaths/min. Hence reintubation was performed with difficulty using a snugly fitting 6.0 mm endotracheal tube. A USG neck was planned to diagnose the cause and site of airway obstruction, and it revealed supraglottic tracheal narrowing and edema. As she could be intubated with a maximum tube size of 6.0 mm only, which offered resistance to breathing, a percutaneous tracheostomy was planned below the level of tracheal narrowing so as to bypass the pathology as confirmed by USG. She was tracheostomized with 7.5 mm cuffed tracheostomy tube. Fiber-optic bronchoscopy was carried out to observe the mucosal changes. Tracheal mucosa showed intense inflammation. These inflammatory changes prompted us towards initiation of steroid therapy. We explored the option of nebulized steroids but owing to tracheostomy site being below the inflammation site, nebulized steroids would bypass the pathology and proven futile. We therefore planned topical instillation of dexamethasone right at the site of inflammation through a fiber-optic bronchoscope. We used a dilute solution of dexamethasone. A total of 8 mg dexamethasone was diluted to a volume of 5 ml. The tip of the bronchoscope was positioned in the trachea so as to focus the lesion. The steroid solution was loaded in a syringe, which was attached to the oxygen insufflation port of the bronchoscope. The solution was then pushed down through the bronchoscope along with simultaneous fine rotation of the fiber-optic tip so that the steroid solution topically covered the lesion. The bronchoscope was then withdrawn. This method of steroid instillation was performed once in 8 h. With progressive instillation of dexamethasone for 5 days, we noticed progressive resolution of edema and near normalization of tracheal mucosal epithelium [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4]. Eventually, patient was decannulated on the 7 th day of admission.
Figure 1: Initial bronchoscopic view with marked edema and airway narrowing

Click here to view
Figure 2: Marked narrowing with intense mucosal inflammation

Click here to view
Figure 3: Regressing inflammation

Click here to view
Figure 4: Progressive decrease in hyperemia and resolution of tissue edema

Click here to view

  Discussion Top

Although tracheal stenosis is infrequently associated with acid corrosive ingestion, its prevention is difficult and treatment prolonged and protracted. Caustic ingestion results in thrombosis of small vessels with inflammation, formation of granulation tissue with subsequent collagen deposition and fibrosis, thus stricture formation. [1],[2],[3]

In the present case, initial improvement of ventilator parameters with eventual extubation indicated that the patient's respiratory status improved and was nearing normal. However, development of stridor within a short span of 6 h of extubation prompted us to suspect that the patient had mucosal edema, which was initially contained due to the ETT in situ. Soon after extubation, it expanded leading to respiratory compromise, which was subsequently confirmed on USG.

Various treatment modalities both medical and surgical have been used in treatment of tracheal stenosis such as intralesional mitomycin injection, systemic steroids, surgical reconstruction, cryotherapy, electrocautery, bougie dilation, balloon dilation, and stent placement. [4]

Steroids have potent anti-inflammatory action due to inhibhition of cytokines, enzymes and inflammatory mediators and induction of anti-inflammatory factors like lipocortins. Systemic as well as percutaneous intralesional injection of steroids has been well-documented in treatment of tracheal mucosal inflammation. [5] Such topical use of steroids, intratracheally has not yet been documented in the literature; However, studies have been carried out in the past with topically applied steroid on endotracheal tube resulting in a favorable outcome in terms of incidence of post-extubation cough and hoarseness. [6] This indirectly supports our case also. The present case report is just an introduction to what might be an established future therapy. Firmer results shall be available if such case series is carried out over time, and if results be positive, this treatment modality might establish itself as a preferred alternative. Systemic steroids in treatment of laryngeal stenosis have also been reported. However, systemic administration pre-disposes to a number of adverse effects such as infection, hyperglycemia, osteoporosis depending upon the dose and duration. Local instillation obviates this and rationalizes their use in local inflammatory conditions. Such modality will thus be useful where systemic steroids are to avoided and there is some limitation of practicing other methods of steroid therapy like nebulization. We therefore successfully instilled steroid locally through a fiber-optic bronchoscope to regress inflammation and prevent subsequent scarring and fibrosis.

  References Top

1.Satar S, Topal M, Kozaci N. Ingestion of caustic substances by adults. Am J Ther 2004;11:258-61.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Represas C, Fernández A, Leiro V, Botana M, Blanco M, Rodríguez C, et al. Caustic tracheobronchitis. J Bronchology Interv Pulmonol 2006;13:156-8.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Mamede RC, de Mello FV. Ingestion of caustic substances and its complications. Sao Paulo Med J 2001;119:10-5.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Wong JL, Tie ST, Samril B, Lum CL, Rahman MR, Rahman JA. Successful treatment of tracheal stenosis by rigid bronchoscopy and topical mitomycin C: A case report. Cases J 2010;3:2.  Back to cited text no. 4
5.Othersen HB Jr. Steroid therapy for tracheal stenosis in children: Clinical experience in 4 children with severe strictures. Ann Thorac Surg 1974;17:254-9.  Back to cited text no. 5
6.Selvaraj T, Dhanpal R. Evaluation of the application of topical steroids on the endotracheal tube in decreasing post-operative sore throat. J Anaesthesiol Clin Pharmacol 2002;18:167-70.  Back to cited text no. 6


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4]

This article has been cited by
1 Prevention of tracheal stenosis with pirfenidone after tracheotomy: An experimental study
Emre Türkmen,Yavuz Selim Pata
The Laryngoscope. 2018;
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
2 Early anastomotic stricture occurring after colectomy that responded well to Transanal decompression and local steroid therapy: A case report
Masanori Hayashi,Atsushi Ikeda,Mitsuo Yokota,Hiroyuki Sako,Hiroshi Uchida,Ken Ikeda,Seijiro Okusawa
International Journal of Surgery Case Reports. 2017; 37: 52
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
3 Experimental research and modeling of selected layers of the trachea based on EBUS
Andrzej Ryniewicz,Jerzy Soja,Wojciech Ryniewicz,Krzysztof Sladek,Lukasz Bojko
Bio-Algorithms and Med-Systems. 2015; 11(4)
[Pubmed] | [DOI]


    Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
    Access Statistics
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

  In this article
  Case Report
   Article Figures

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded301    
    Comments [Add]    
    Cited by others 3    

Recommend this journal