MEDICAL management of children with acute laryngotracheitis has long been a problem. This disease, which is confined almost entirely to the childhood period, may begin insidiously and progress to a state of anoxia, or it may strike suddenly, transforming a previously well child into a critically ill patient who is fighting for his life, truly a pediatric emergency. Many treatment regimens have been tried in the past, employing the combined skills of pediatrician, otolaryngologist, and nurse. The basic elements of moist air and sedation have remained unchanged. With the advent of antibiotics it was hoped that the disease process would be greatly retarded. The fact is, however, that this condition, despite chemotherapy and antibiotics, still remains a challenging problem.
In an attempt to attack the disease from a different angle we turned to the newer hormones. Corticotropin (ACTH) was chosen because it acts rapidly, an important consideration in severe laryngotracheitis