Stridor is a term to describe an abnormal, high-pitched breath sound produced by abnormal, turbulent air flow with respiration 1. It usually represents narrowing of the large, extrathoracic airways 2.
Stridor can be caused by numerous conditions, but its presence may indicate a serious underlying pathology that requires immediate treatment 2. Causes of stridor include:
- foreign body aspiration
- bilateral vocal cord paralysis
Imaging may or may not be required depending on the suspected underlying cause.
Treatment and prognosis
Initial management should ensure the airway is patent with adequate breathing and oxygen saturation. Specific treatment will vary depending on the underlying condition.
- 1. Sly PD, Collins RA. Physiological basis of respiratory signs and symptoms. (2006) Paediatric respiratory reviews. 7 (2): 84-8. doi:10.1016/j.prrv.2006.03.007 - Pubmed
- 2. Boudewyns A, Claes J, Van de Heyning P. Clinical practice: an approach to stridor in infants and children. (2010) European journal of pediatrics. 169 (2): 135-41. doi:10.1007/s00431-009-1044-7 - Pubmed