Stridor - Overview
Breathing sounds - abnormal; Extrathoracic airway obstruction
Definition of Stridor:
Stridor is an abnormal, high-pitched, musical breathing sound caused by a blockage in the throat or voice box (larynx). It is usually heard when taking in a breath.
See also: Wheezing
Children are at higher risk of airway blockage because they have narrower airways than adults. In young children, stridor is a sign of airway blockage and must be treated right away to prevent total airway obstruction.
The airway can be blocked by an object, swelling of the tissues of the throat or upper airway, or spasm of the airway muscles or the vocal cords.
Common causes of stridor include:
- Reviewed last on: 4/26/2010
- Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
Sobol SE, Zapata S. Epiglottitis and croup. Otolaryngol Clin North Am. 2008;41(3);551-566.
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