Herpes Simplex Virus Laryngitis Presenting as Airway Obstruction: A Case Report and Literature Review

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Herpes simplex virus (HSV) laryngitis is rare in adults. We add a case report to the literature and perform a literature review to further delineate the clinical presentation, course, and treatment of HSV laryngitis in adults.


Case report and literature review using PubMed and Ovid databases.


Ten cases of diagnosed HSV laryngitis in adults were reported in the literature. It is more common in immunocompromised patients. The mean patient age was 51 years with a male to female ratio of 1:1. The clinical presentation and course of HSV laryngitis is variable. Patients may have mild chronic symptoms, such as dysphonia, or a fulminant course with rapid airway compromise. On laryngoscopic exam, the most common findings are a white exudate or ulceration. The most common treatment is with antiviral medication, such as acyclovir, which tends to be highly effective.


Herpes simplex virus laryngitis is rare. Clinical presentation of HSV laryngitis is variable, and its course may be indolent or fulminant. Treatment with antiviral medication tends to be highly effective.

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