What are the characteristics of stridor in croup?

Updated: Oct 09, 2019
  • Author: Germaine L Defendi, MD, MS, FAAP; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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Stridor is a common symptom in patients with croup. [1] Acute onset of this abnormal sound in a child alarms parents and caregivers, enough to prompt an urgent care or emergency department (ED) visit. Stridor is an audible harsh, high-pitched, musical sound on inspiration produced by turbulent airflow through a partially obstructed upper airway. This partial airway obstruction can be present at the level of the supraglottis, glottis, subglottis, and/or trachea. During inspiration, areas of the airway that are easily collapsible (eg, supraglottic region) are suctioned closed because of negative intraluminal pressure generated during inspiration. These same areas are forced open during expiration.

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