Pulmonology 2019 Apr 15. Epub 2019 Apr 15.
Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade do Porto, Porto, Portugal.
Upper airways (UA) include the nasal cavities, pharynx, and larynx, and its main function is to warm and filter the inspired air. UA dysfunction is in the pathogenesis of various disorders, such as obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) and vocal cord dysfunction. In addition, in some neurodegenerative diseases (e.g. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis - ALS), UA dysfunction may also compromise the effective use of ventilatory support (VS). In this context, the endoscopic evaluation of UA may be useful in understanding the OSAS mechanisms, in determining the causes for treatment-induced airway obstruction and even in helping to titrate noninvasive ventilation (NIV) in ALS patients with bulbar or pseudo-bulbar (spastic) dysfunction. Specifically, in OSAS patients, when residual obstructive events persist, although an optimal ventilatory mode has been apparently achieved, along with interface and equipment, the endoscopic evaluation of UA seems to be a valuable tool in understanding its mechanisms, even assisting adjustments to NIV parameters. In addition, it has also been described as being useful in laryngeal response to mechanical in-exsufflation (MI-E) and Exercise-Induced Laryngeal Obstruction (EILO). However, no protocol has yet been published or validated for this. For this reason, a literature review was conducted on UA function and its response to positive pressure and MI-E. Special emphasis has also been given to the current indication for video endoscopy in chronically ventilated patients.