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Category: BRONCHOSCOPY IN DISEASES OF THE TRACHEA AND BRONCHI
Source: A Manual Of Peroral Endoscopy And Laryngeal Surgery
Influenzal infection, not
always by the same organism, sweeps over the population, attacking the
air passages in a violent and quite characteristic way. Bronchoscopy
shows the influenzal infection to be characterized by intense
reddening and swelling of the mucosa. In some cases the swelling is so
great as to necessitate tracheotomy, or intubation of the larynx; and
if the edema involve the bronchi, occlusion may be fatal. Hemorrhagic
spots and superficial erosions are commonly seen, and a thick,
tenacious exudate, difficult of expectoration, lies in patches in the
trachea. Infants may asphyxiate from accumulation of this secretion
which they are unable to expel. The differential diagnosis from
diphtheria is sometimes difficult. The absence of true membrane and
the failure to find diphtheria bacilli in smears taken from the
trachea are of aid but are not infallible. In doubtful cases, the
administration of diphtheria antitoxin is a wise precaution pending
the establishment of a definite diagnosis. The pseudomembrane
sometimes present in influenzal tracheobronchitis is thinner and less
pulpy than that of the earlier stages of diphtheria. The casts of the
later stages do not occur in influenzal tracheobronchitis
(Bibliography I, p. 480).
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