Isolated epiglottic tuberculosis: presented as severe respiratory distress


  • Saurabh Gupta Department of ENT, Regency Hospital, Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, India
  • Ashok Kumar Singh Department of Pulmonology, Regency Hospital, Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, India
  • Anjali Tiwari Department of Pathology, Regency Hospital, Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, India



Acute respiratory distress, Epiglottic tuberculosis, Laryngeal carcinoma


Tuberculosis is a systemic disease and it can involve any organ of the body. Laryngeal tuberculosis, caused by mycobacterium tuberculosis is quite common in our ENT practice but it is usually a complication of pulmonary tuberculosis, and most patients with laryngeal tuberculosis have coexisting active pulmonary tuberculosis. Most of the times the area of involvement in this secondary laryngeal tuberculosis is posterior part of the larynx. We are reporting a case of isolated primary epiglottic tuberculosis, which is a rare entity, who presented with severe respiratory distress and inspiratory stridor. It was initially suspected and misdiagnosed as a case of laryngeal carcinoma because of common laryngoscopic findings of diffuse edema, deformed laryngeal cartilages and ulcerations in both of these conditions but on further evaluation it was diagnosed as primary epiglottic tuberculosis with no pulmonary involvement. After making the correct diagnosis from histopathological examination, the patient was managed successfully by anti tubercular treatment.

Author Biography

Saurabh Gupta, Department of ENT, Regency Hospital, Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, India






Uslu C, Oysu C, Uklumen B. Tuberculosis of the epiglottis: A case report. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2008;265:599-601.

Williams RG, Tony DJ. Mycobacterium marches back. J Laryngol Otol. 1995;109:5-13.

Lin CJ, Kang BH, Wang HW. Laryngeal tuberculosis masquerading as carcinoma. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2002;259:521-3.

Richter B, Fradis M, Köhler G, Ridder GJ. Epiglottic tuberculosis: differential diagnosis and treatment.Case report and review of the literature. Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 2001;110:197-201.

Diktaban T, Lucente FE. Laryngeal tuberculosis: A hazard to the Otolaryngologist. Ear Nose Throat J. 1980;59:488-94.

Soda A, Rubio H, Salazar M, Ganem J, Berlanga D, Sanchez A. Tuberculosis of the larynx: Clinical aspects in 19 patients. Laryngoscope. 1989;99:1147-50.

Edizer DT, Karaman E, Mercan H, Alimoglu Y, Esen T, Cansiz H. Primary tuberculosis involving epiglottis: A rare case report. Dysphagia. 2010;25:258-60.

Munck K, Mandpe AH. Mycobacterial infections of the head and neck. Otolaryngol Clin North Am. 2003;36(4):569-76.

Yencha MW, Linfesty R, Blackmon A. Laryngeal tuberculosis. Am J Otolaryngol. 2000;21(2):122-6.

Singh B, Balwally AN, Nash M, Har-El G, Lucente FE. Laryngeal tuberculosis in HIV-infected patients: a difficult diagnosis. Laryngoscope. 1996;106(10):1238-40.






Case Reports