Center for Airway Disorders (CAD) | Diagnosing Airway Disorders

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Contact the Center for Airway Disorders


The first step in treating your child’s airway condition is getting an accurate and complete diagnosis.  Families from around the world come to the Center for Airway Disorders (CAD) Program at Boston Children’s Hospital for expert testing by a team of doctors with significant expertise in conditions of the airway. Our focus is on providing the best possible care for your child, including the most advanced tests and airway treatments available.

As part of our commitment to bettering the lives and medical treatment of patients with airway disorders, our team meets weekly with specialists from across Boston Children's to discuss individual patients and their diagnoses. During this conference, doctors from different disciplines share their expertise so that our center can establish a better understanding of each child’s needs and create the most effective treatment plan possible. 

We understand that learning your child may have an airway disorder can be frightening. We strive to be as thorough as possible in our assessment and treatment, and we will always address any concerns or questions you may have along the way.

Advanced Testing for Airway Disorders at Boston Children’s Hospital

Our team of doctors will perform advanced and minimally invasive tests to understand your child’s condition as well other related problems that may exist. These tests may include:

  • Airway fluoroscopy: This examination of the airway is often done to detect causes of noisy breathing in infants and young children. Your baby will lie on his/her side for the procedure. It takes about five to 10 minutes to complete and does not require sedation or withholding of feedings.
  • CT with 3‐D reconstruction: A type of X-ray that results in a 3D image. This test is performed in some patients in order to confirm the presence of abnormal blood vessels.
  • Echocardiogram: A test that uses sound waves to produce images of your child’s heart.
  • Fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES): During this test, your child’s nose and throat is anesthetized. An endoscope (a flexible fiberoptic tube with a camera at the end) is passed through the nose and into areas surrounding the voice box and opening of the esophagus. Your child will be given liquids to consume, and our team of specialists will evaluate the swallowing process.
  • Laryngoscopy: This test involves placement of a lighted, flexible tube through the nose or mouth to look at the voice box. During this procedure, the doctor will look for any other throat or voice box problems that may be contributing to the noisy breathing.
  • Rigid bronchoscopy: A highly specialized procedure that allows the passage of larger airway instruments and cameras in order to diagnose and treat airway disease. 

Make an Appointment

To make an appointment or speak with a member of our team, please call 617-355-3795.

International Patients

For families residing outside of the United States, please call Boston Children's International Health Services at +01-617-355-5209.

Boston Children’s is so much more than a hospital—it’s a community of researchers, clinicians, administrators, support staff, innovators, teachers, patients and families, all working together to make the impossible possible. ”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital
300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115
For Patients: 617-355-6000
For Referring Providers: 844-BCH-PEDS | 844-224-7337