Croup refers to an infection of the upper airway, generally in children, which obstructs breathing and causes a characteristic barking cough.
The cough and other symptoms of croup are the result of inflammation around the vocal cords (larynx), windpipe (trachea) and bronchial tubes (bronchi). When a cough forces air through this narrowed passage, the swollen vocal cords produce a noise similar to a seal barking. Likewise, taking a breath often produces a high-pitched whistling sound (stridor).
Croup usually isn't serious and most cases can be treated at home.
Jan. 30, 2013
- Flint PW, et al. Cummings Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05283-2..X0001-8--TOP&isbn=978-0-323-05283-2&uniqId=230100505-57. Accessed Nov. 29, 2012.
- Woods CR. Approach to the management of croup. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Nov. 29, 2012.
- Zoorob R, et al. Croup: An overview. American Family Physician. 2011;83:1067.
- Russell KF, et al. Glucocorticoids for croup. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. Http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD001955.pub3/abstract. Accessed Nov. 29, 2012.
- Wilkinson JM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Dec. 29, 2012.
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