Adult epiglottitis (or "supraglottitis") is an uncommon but increasingly recognized entity. Though prior studies emphasized the fulminant nature of the disease, recent evidence suggests that epiglottitis in adults may follow a relatively less severe clinical course, especially if Hemophilus influenza is not isolated. The records of 28 patients with adult epiglottitis were retrospectively analyzed to characterize the presenting features and clinical course of the disease. The diagnosis was established by laryngoscopy, lateral cervical radiographs, or both. Laryngoscopy did not precipitate airway obstruction in any patient. The majority of patients experienced a relatively benign clinical course and improved with medical management that consisted of ICU admission, intravenous antibiotics, hydration, inhaled mist, and corticosteroids. Only two patients (7%) required airway support with orotracheal intubation because of respiratory difficulty. There were no instances of respiratory arrest or airway obstruction. No tracheostomies were performed, and there were no deaths. It was concluded that adult epiglottitis can follow a less severe course than classically described.