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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.

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.

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.


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