Pediatric thermal epiglottitis: insights from a tertiary center experience

Leonel Slanovic, Noga Arwas, Micha Aviram, Dvir Gatt, Isaac Lazar, Yael Feinstein, Daniel Yafit, Aviv Goldbart, Soliman Alkrinawi, Inbal Golan-Tripto, Eitan Neeman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Thermal epiglottitis, a non-infectious cause of epiglottitis, is a rare entity that shares some clinical features with infectious epiglottitis. This study presents 16 years of experience in diagnosing and managing thermal epiglottitis. A retrospective descriptive study in a tertiary center in southern Israel included confirmed cases of thermal epiglottitis in children (0–18 years) between 2004 and 2020 by endoscopy. Of approximately 600,000 pediatric ER admissions between 2004 and 2020, seven children were diagnosed by endoscopy with thermal epiglottitis (mean age 24 months, 71% males). Clinical presentation included stridor, respiratory distress, and drooling. Four children had fever and elevated inflammatory markers at presentation and were treated with systemic antibiotics. All were treated with systemic steroids. The median length of stay in the PICU was five days, and four patients required intubations. All fully recovered without experiencing any sequelae. Conclusion: Thermal epiglottitis stands as a potential contributor to acute upper airway obstruction. Although it’s rarity, it should be discussed in any child with acute upper airway obstruction. It is essential to inquire directly about the accidental intake of hot beverages, particularly in cases lacking fever or elevated inflammatory markers. (Table presented.)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2913-2919
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Pediatrics
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2024


  • Airway obstruction
  • Burns
  • Children
  • Epiglottitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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