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Complex exercise laryngoscopy

What is a complex exercise laryngoscopy test?

Complex exercise laryngoscopy uses a tiny flexible camera to look at your throat and larynx (voice box) before and after exercise. We do this test to diagnose something called ‘exercise induced laryngeal obstruction’ (EILO). This means that your upper airways may be out of sync with your breathing and may narrow or partially block the airways during exercise. You may have been referred by a doctor if you have said you have breathing difficulties during exercise.

There will be a team of people at the appointment including:

  • Respiratory consultant
  • Ear, nose and throat (ENT) consultant
  • Physiotherapist
  • Respiratory physiologist

What do I have to do?

At the appointment, you will have have to do several tests including:

  • baseline spirometry
  • structured light plethysmography (SLP) test
  • baseline laryngoscopy
  • exercising on a treadmill
  • post-exercise laryngoscopy
  • post-exercise spirometry

Baseline and post-exercise spirometry

Breathing in and out fast into a machine. You will need to perform spirometry before and after exercising. You may be asked to do the spirometry 5 minutes, 10 minutes and 15 minutes after your exercise.

Structured light plethysmography (SLP) test

You will be asked to wear a tight white T-shirt for this test. A checkerboard pattern of light is projected onto your chest. Your chest and abdominal wall movement is monitored during normal breathing. This lasts for 3 minutes. During this time you have to sit very still.

Baseline laryngoscopy and post-exercise laryngoscopy

Before and after exercising the ENT consultant will put a very small telescope (camera) attached to a thin cable up your nose and guide it through to look at the back of your throat. You may be given arry, a nasal spray if it feels uncomfortable. The laryngoscopy shows the consultant a close up of your throat and larynx. The laryngoscope may be secured to your face with a little strap and you may wear it whilst exercising, or we may take it out and repeat the test after exercising.

Exercising on the treadmill

Before exercising on the treadmill we will put electrode stickers on your chest so that we can measure your heart rate and a probe on your finger so we can measure your oxygen levels.

You will be asked to start off walking on the treadmill and then build up to a fast hill-walking or running. We will be monitoring you at all times and slow down or stop the treadmill if it is too difficult for you to keep up.

Photograph of treadmill

Do I need to bring anything with me?

You will need to bring comfortable clothes to run in such as a T-shirt, shorts or joggers and trainers. You will get hot and sweaty, it may be a good idea to bring a change of clothes.

How long will the test take?

Your appointment will last around 1 hour 30 minutes. The team will make a plan for clinical management and discuss this with you at the end of the test.

Do I need to do anything before the appointment?

Your appointment letter will tell you if you need to stop any of your inhalers before the test and for how long.

Contact us

Please contact us on 0114 271 7369  if you need to change your appointment or if you have any other questions.

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Please note: this is a generic information sheet relating to care at Sheffield Children’s NHS FT. These details may not reflect treatment at other hospitals. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professionals’ instructions. If this resource relates to medicines, please read it alongside the medicine manufacturer’s patient information leaflet. If this information has been translated into another language from English, efforts have been made to maintain accuracy, but there may still be some translation errors. If you are unsure about any of the guidance in this resource or have specific questions about how it relates to your child, always ask your healthcare professional for further advice.

Resource number: RSP12

Resource Type: Article

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