Uvular Necrosis as an Unusual Complication of Bronchoscopy Via the Nasal Approach

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Bronchoscopy can cause post-procedural throat discomfort due to oropharyngeal irritation. We report a rare complication of bronchoscopy that resulted in similar symptoms. A 30-year-old man complained of severe throat discomfort a day after bronchoscopy. Examination revealed a swollen, elongated uvula. The lower half of the uvula was completely white, consistent with uvular necrosis. He was managed conservatively with topical lidocaine and antihistamines. At a follow-up examination 2 weeks later his symptoms had substantially improved and the necrosed uvula had separated, leaving a shortened uvula with an irregular border. Simple precautions taken during bronchoscopy can avoid this rare complication that causes persistent symptoms.

Keywords: bronchoscopy; complication; necrosis; rare; throat discomfort; uvula

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4187/respcare.00936

Affiliations: Division of Internal Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA

Publication date: May 1, 2011

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