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

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Abstract

Objectives:

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.

Methods:

Case report and literature review using PubMed and Ovid databases.

Results:

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.

Conclusions:

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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