An organized educational approach available online can teach bronchoscopists the skills required to conduct the supraglottic index (SGI), a highly reproducible assessment and scoring of supraglottic abnormalities, according to researchers.

“The SGI can be used to determine which patients need additional intervention to determine causes of [laryngopharyngeal reflux] and gastroesophageal reflux,” according to the authors.

“Although an initial labor-intensive period is needed for any naïve reader to become proficient in the SGI scoring system, the effort pays off in better classification and thus treatment of refractory asthma patients,” the authors noted.

For the study, the the team assessed intra- and inter-observer reproducibility of the SGI when applied by five pulmonologists with expertise in fiberoptic bronchoscopy but no prior knowledge of the SGI.

The same team, in a separate effort, developed the SGI as an objective measure of supraglottic abnormalities. The score assigns points for the amount of edema, erythema, and hyperemia present in three supraglottic structures, and for appearance of the posterior commissure and the piriform recesses.