gothic arch appearance

A term of art referring to the smoothly tapered—V-shaped—air shadow seen at the level of the larynx on an AP film of the upper airway in young children with croup caused by parainfluenza, other viruses and bacteria. The tapering is accompanied by a loss of the normal lateral convexities of the air column (’shouldering’) and is caused by subglottic trachea oedema and soft tissue inflammation, resulting in an appearance fancifully likened to a church steeple or gothic arch

gothic arch appearance

Steeple sign ENT Narrowing of the glottis and subglottis due to edema and soft tissue inflammation, seen in a lateral neck film of young children with croup–eg, due to parainfluenza, other viruses and bacteria, an appearance fancifully likened to that of a gothic arch.
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