BMJ Case Reports 2017; doi:10.1136/bcr-2017-219635

Diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (DISH): an unusual cause of airway obstruction

  1. Simon Gane
  1. Department of Otolaryngology, Royal National Throat Nose and Ear Hospital, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Andrew Wesley Hoey, andrew.hoey{at}
  • Accepted 25 February 2017
  • Published 15 March 2017


Acute airway obstruction is a common ENT emergency with a wide range of aetiologies. The most common causes are infection, malignancy and foreign bodies, but more unusual causes should be considered.1

A 77-year old gentleman presented to the emergency department with worsening difficulty in breathing for 3 months since undergoing spinal surgery for multilevel cervical myelopathy. He of stertor, cough, dysphagia and intermittent apnoea. He was otherwise systemically well with no clinical signs of sepsis. Flexible nasendoscopy revealed a large posterior pharyngeal wall mass obscuring the …

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