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Slovenska pediatrija 2017; 24: 178-184

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Case report


S. Cerar
Zdravstveni dom Ljubljana Bežigrad, Ljubljana, Slovenija

M. Pokorn
Klinika za infekcijske bolezni in vročinska stanja, Univerzitetni klinični center Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenija

M. Praprotnik
Služba za pljučne bolezni, Pediatrična klinika, Univerzitetni klinični center Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenija


Bacterial tracheitis is an acute bacterial infection of the trachea, most often occurring as a complication of viral laryngotracheitis. It is a rare and often life-threatening disease. It occurs almost exclusively in children. The clinical appearance of bacterial tracheitis is similar to acute laryngotracheitis but the course is usually much more severe. Paediatricians must think of this diagnosis in young children who present with biphasic, inspiratory and expiratory stridor, increased work of breathing, high fever, a toxic appearance and who do not respond to treatment for laryngotracheitis. Clinical deterioration with respiratory failure can be rapid. Mucopurulent exudate (pseudomembranes) may suddenly peel off the wall of the trachea and obstruct the airway, resulting in a life-threatening condition. Prompt recognition and management (securing the airway and antibiotics) are crucial. A case of Influenza A virus infection of the respiratory tract complicated by bacterial tracheitis in an 8-year-old girl is described. After one day of hyperpyrexia, she presented with severe respiratory distress, stridor, a changed voice and hypoxaemia.

Key words: Key words: bacterial tracheitis, biphasic stridor, pseudomembranes, respiratory distress, child.