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November 1964

Airway Obstruction in Infectious Mononucleosis

Author Affiliations

Assistant Instructor in Otolaryngology, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Former Chief, Otolaryngology Section, 862d Medical Group (SAC), Minot AFB, ND.
From the Department of Otolaryngology, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1964;80(5):583-586. doi:10.1001/archotol.1964.00750040597015

Upper airway obstruction in children often presents interesting and unusual problems. Severe obstruction resulting from profound hyperplasia of Waldeyer's ring is unusual whereas mild obstruction is common. The case to be presented is one of profound obstruction, secondary to infectious mononucleosis, necessitating an emergency tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy.

A 20-year review of the available literature uncovered a number of cases of upper airway obstruction of various etiologies.7,8 Johnson1 in 1944 reported the first two proven cases of infectious mononucleosis in the Negro. One of these had an anginose obstruction. The Negro child was having intermittent respiratory distress, and tracheotomy was thought necessary on several occasions. The first case of surgical intervention, a tracheotomy was reported by Jones and Jones2 in 1949. Librach3 in 1951 presented one case of obstruction due to infectious mononucleosis and reviewed six others, all of which were treated with tracheotomy. In 1953 a

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