Emergency presentation of iatrogenic airway stenosis following intubation in a patient with COVID-19 and its management

A 59-year-old man presented to the emergency department with recent onset biphasic stridor, dyspnoea and increased work of breathing on the background of prolonged intubation for the novel COVID-19 2 months previously. Flexible laryngoscopy revealed bilateral vocal fold immobility with a soft tissue mass in the interarytenoid region. The patient's symptoms improved with oxygen therapy, nebulised epinephrine (5 mL; 1:10 000) and intravenous dexamethasone (3.3 mg). The following morning, the patient was taken to theatre, underwent suspension microlaryngoscopy and found to have bilateral fixation of the cricoarytenoid joints and a large granuloma in the interarytenoid area. He underwent cold steel resection of the granuloma and balloon dilatation between the arytenoids, with the hope of mobilising the joints. This failed and CO 2 laser arytenoidectomy was performed on the left side. The stridor had resolved postoperatively, with normalisation of work of breathing and the patient was discharged home on the first postoperative day.

as reported in: BMJ Case Rep. 2020 Dec 13; 13(12):