Utilization and Findings of Flexible Naso-Pharyngo-Laryngoscopy in Upper Airway Disorders: A Clinic Audit

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Idris Abdullahi
Nurudden Adebola Shofoluwe
Iliyasu Yunusa Shuaibu
Mohammed Aminu Usman
Dotiro Chitumu
Ibrahim Babatunde Mohammed
Abdurrahman Omodele
Saleem Shehu Zubairu


Flexible Naso-Pharyngo-Laryngoscopy, Aerodigestive Disorders, Indications


Background: Flexible naso-pharyngo-laryngoscopy (NPL) has become an essential clinic tool for evaluating patients with upper airway disorders in otorhinolaryngology. It has been established to be a simple, cost-effective, and minimally invasive technique with good diagnostic yields. This study aimed to audit the procedure of flexible NPL done in our clinic over 2 years and analyse the technique, indications, and findings of the procedure.

Methodology: A retrospective cross-sectional study among all the patients who presented to our ENT clinic in ABUTH Zaria, from July 2021 to June 2023 with upper airway symptoms or neck swelling who had flexible NPL done in the clinic. The records of these patients were reviewed, and information extracted including age, sex, use of anaesthesia, indications and findings of the procedure were entered in SPSS and analysed. Results: Flexible NPL was done in 266 patients aged 4 months to 85 years. Only 3% of the patients required local anaesthesia. The commonest indications were for preoperative evaluation of goitre (26.7%), suspected adenoid hypertrophy (18.4%), complaints of hoarseness (18.8%), and foreign body sensation (12%). The commonest diagnoses made were adenoid hypertrophy (19.9%), laryngeal tumour (5.3%), nasopharyngeal tumour (4.9%), vocal cord palsy (4.9%), rhinitis (4.5%) and pharyngitis (4.1%), laryngitis (3.0%), laryngopharyngeal reflux disease (3.0%) and vocal cord nodule (2.3%).

Conclusions: Office flexible NPL was done commonly for preoperative evaluation of goitre, suspected adenoid hypertrophy, hoarseness, and foreign body sensation. The commonest pathologies were adenoid hypertrophy, laryngeal tumour, nasopharyngeal tumour vocal cord palsy, rhinitis, pharyngitis, and laryngitis.

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