What do the physical findings of stridor indicate in patients with croup?

Updated: Oct 18, 2018
  • Author: Germaine L Defendi, MD, MS, FAAP; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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Answer

Depending on timing within the respiratory cycle, stridor can be heard on inspiration, expiration, or in both (biphasic; inspiratory and expiratory). Inspiratory stridor suggests a laryngeal obstruction, whereas expiratory stridor suggests tracheobronchial obstruction. Biphasic stridor indicates either a subglottic or glottic anomaly. An acute onset of marked inspiratory stridor is the hallmark of croup; however, concurrently there may be a less audible expiratory stridor. (See Clinical.)


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