Croup is a topic covered in the 5-Minute Emergency Consult.

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Emergency Central

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  • Viral infection of the upper respiratory tract
  • Most commonly presents in children 6 mo–3 yr:
    • Laryngotracheitis/laryngotracheobronchitis
    • Inspiratory stridor owing to extrathoracic airway obstruction
    • Expiratory wheeze suggests lower airway involvement.
    • Inflammatory edema of subglottic region
    • Narrowest part of pediatric airway
  • May progress to respiratory failure


  • Parainfluenza types 1, 2, and 3
  • Human coronavirus NL63
  • Influenza A and B
  • Adenoviruses
  • Respiratory syncytial virus
  • Measles
  • Mycoplasma pneumoniae
  • Herpes simplex

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