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Virtual Pediatric Hospital: Paediapaedia: Croup (Acute Laryngotracheobronchitis) Paediapaedia: Chest and Airway Diseases

Croup (Acute Laryngotracheobronchitis)

Michael P. D'Alessandro, M.D.
Peer Review Status: Internally Peer Reviewed


Clinical Presentation:
Inspiratory stridor with a harsh cough and hoarseness. The incidence peaks in the second year of life.

Etiology/Pathophysiology:
Nearly always viral in origin. The viral infection causes inflammation and narrowing of the subglottic airway causing obstruction of the subglottic airway and the larynx.

Pathology:
Not applicable

Imaging Findings:
An AP film shows proximal subglottic airway narrowing which is visible as the "steeple sign" where there is loss of the shoulder like subglottic trachea. A lateral film of the airway should always be taken to rule out the other diseases in the differential of inspiratory stridor, particularly epiglottitis.

DDX:

References:
See References Chapter.

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