The A he dramatic trend over the last two decades of treating otitis media and pharyngotonsillitis conservatively—with antimicrobial agents and tympanostomy tubes rather than surgical removal of the tonsils and adenoids—may be causing an increasing incidence of airway obstruction from adenotonsillar hypertrophy.
At the recent meeting of the southern section of the Triological Society in Atlanta, Kenneth M. Grundfast, MD, chairman of the Department of Otorhinolaryngology at Children's Hospital National Medical Center, Washington, DC, and Donald J. Wittich, Jr, MD, of the Head and Neck Surgery Service at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC, described 13 cases that they had seen in the last year of acute or chronic upper airway obstruction in children due to adenotonsillar hypertrophy. (In fact, Grundfast told JAMA MEDICAL NEWS, since preparing the report, he has seen two additional cases.)
The 13 children ranged in age from 15 months to 10 years. Nine had