Idiopathic Subglottic Tracheal Stenosis Misdiagnosed As Vocal Cord Dysfunction and Successfully Treated with Laser and Controlled Radial Expansion Balloon Dilation

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Idiopathic tracheal stenosis (ITS) is a rare condition, and diagnosis of exclusion should be suspected in patients with exercise intolerance, wheezing, and dyspnea on exertion with a flow-volume loop suggestive of fixed airway obstruction. We report a case of a 32-year-old asthmatic woman with an existing diagnosis of vocal cord dysfunction and previous normal CT scan of the neck. She continued to have fixed upper airway obstruction on repeated flow-volume loops with persistent wheezing and cough along with occasional stridor and hoarseness of voice despite appropriate management of her asthma. She was finally diagnosed with ITS on a repeat CT scan of the neck for which she underwent laser surgery, steroid injection, and controlled radial expansion balloon dilation with a successful reduction of stenosis. This case illustrates the importance of clinical suspicion for early diagnosis of ITS in poorly controlled asthmatic patients and the relevance of non-surgical management of this condition.