Exercise-induced laryngeal obstruction: natural history and effect of surgical treatment
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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The current follow-up study concerning the supraglottic type of exercise-induced laryngeal obstruction (EILO) was performed to reveal the natural history of supraglottic EILO and compare the symptoms, as well as the laryngeal function in conservatively versus surgically treated patients. A questionnaire-based survey was conducted 2–5 years after EILO was diagnosed by a continuous laryngoscopy exercise (CLE) test in 94 patients with a predominantly supraglottic obstruction. Seventy-one patients had been treated conservatively and 23 with laser supraglottoplasty. The questionnaire response rate was 70 and 100% in conservatively treated (CT) and surgically treated (ST) patients, respectively. A second CLE test was performed in 14 CT and 19 ST patients. A visual analogue scale on symptom severity indicated improvements in both the groups, i.e. mean values (§ standard deviations) declined from 73 (20) to 53 (26) (P < 0.001) in the CT group and from 87 (26) to 25 (27) (P < 0.001) in the ST group. At follow-up, ST patients reported lower scores regarding current level of complaints, and higher ability to perform exercise, as well as to push themselves physically, all compared to CT patients (P < 0.001). CLE scores were normalized in 3 of 14 (21%) CT and 16 of 19 (84%) ST patients (Z = ¡3.6; P < 0.001). In conclusion, symptoms of EILO diagnosed in adolescents generally decreased during 2–5 years follow-up period but even more after the surgical treatment. Patients with supraglottic EILO may beneWt from supraglottoplasty both as to laryngeal function and symptom relief. Level of evidence 2b, individual retrospective cohort study.