Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California


UCLA Previously Published Works bannerUCLA

Endoscopic Management of Subglottic Stenosis.



Optimal management of subglottic stenosis has not been established. Endoscopic techniques include balloon dilation, radial incisions with carbon dioxide laser or cold knife, and combinations of techniques. Adjunctive measures include mitomycin application and glucocorticoid injection.


To determine whether surgical technique or adjunctive measures are associated with duration between surgical procedures.

Design, setting, and participants

Adult patients with subglottic stenosis treated endoscopically between 1995-2015 at a quaternary academic medical center were identified. Patients with isolated subglottic (cricotracheal) stenosis 18 years and older were included. Patients with prior open surgical procedures, prior laryngeal surgical procedures, glottic stenosis, or vocal fold paralysis were excluded.


Patients underwent endoscopic procedures including laser radial incisions, balloon dilation, or both, with some patients receiving topical mitomycin, glucocorticoid injection, or both.

Main outcomes and measures

Time interval between endoscopic treatments.


A total of 101 patients (mean [SD] age, 52.3 [15.9] years; 77.2% female) were included in the analysis, with etiologies including idiopathic (47 [46.5%]), intubation (31 [30.7%]), granulomatosis with polyangiitis (9 [8.9%]), and other autoimmune diseases (6 [5.9%]). Among the 219 operations, both laser and balloon dilation were used in 117 (53.4%), while balloon dilation alone was used in 96 (43.8%) and laser alone in 6 (2.7%). Mitomycin application and steroid injection were used in 144 (65.8%) and 93 (42.5%) cases, respectively. Mitomycin application was associated with improvement in the mean interval to next procedure from 317 to 474 days (absolute difference, 157 days; 95% CI, 15-299 days). Advanced grade of stenosis, dilation technique, and steroid injection did not significantly alter the surgical intervals.

Conclusions and relevance

Endoscopic surgery for subglottic stenosis is a critical aspect of patient management. Neither surgical technique nor grade of stenosis was seen to alter the surgical intervals. Mitomycin application was associated with an extended time interval between endoscopic treatments.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View