Large airway complications in COVID-19 pneumonia

https://doi.org/10.4081/monaldi.2021.1894

Authors

  • James May Department of Respiratory Medicine, St George’s University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London , United Kingdom. https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4128-5554
  • Nordita Ramos-Bascon Department of Cardiothoracic Medicine, St George’s University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London , United Kingdom.
  • Natalie Barnes Department of Cardiothoracic Medicine, St George’s University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London , United Kingdom.
  • Brendan Madden | brendan.madden@stgeorges.nhs.uk Department of Cardiothoracic Medicine, St George’s University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London , United Kingdom. https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7768-9182

Abstract

COVID-19 pneumonia can cause respiratory failure which requires specialist management. However the inflammatory nature of the condition and the interventions necessary to manage these patients such as endotracheal intubation and tracheostomy can lead to large airway pathology which may go unrecognised. We describe five of the 44 (11%) consecutive patients referred to our specialist ARDS team between April and June 2020 with confirmed COVID-19 pneumonia who developed diverse large airway pathology which comprised of: supraglottic oedema, tracheal tear, tracheal granulation tissue formation, bronchomalacia, and tracheal diverticulum. Large airway pathology may be underappreciated in severely ill patients with COVID-19 pneumonia and should be considered in patients with unexplained air leak, prolonged need for mechanical ventilatory support, and repeated failed extubation or decannulation. If suspected, such patients should be managed by a team with expertise in large airway intervention and early specialist advice should be sought.

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References

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Published
2021-07-22
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Issue
Section
COVID-19 - Collection of articles on the Coronavirus outbreak
Supporting Agencies
None
Keywords:
COVID-19, trachea, bronchi, pathology
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How to Cite
May, James, Nordita Ramos-Bascon, Natalie Barnes, and Brendan Madden. 2021. “Large Airway Complications in COVID-19 Pneumonia”. Monaldi Archives for Chest Disease, July. https://doi.org/10.4081/monaldi.2021.1894.