Stridor is noisy breathing due to airway obstruction, and may be caused by a vast array of pathologies. Children present with stridor along a continuum of acuity and severity. Causes of acute stridor include infections and foreign bodies. Chronic stridor may be due to a wide array of functional and anatomic anomalies, with common causes including laryngomalacia, recurrent respiratory papillomatosis, subglottic stenosis, vocal fold paralysis, and airway hemangioma. Laryngomalacia is far and away the most common cause for chronic stridor in the infant.
In order to correctly diagnose and manage the stridulous child, a detailed history regarding the onset, progression, and nature of the stridor, and a thorough physical examination, potentially including laryngoscopy must be performed. Management must start with ensuring a safe and secure airway, followed by correction of the underlying cause.
Keywords: Stridor, airway, laryngotracheitis, croup, epiglottitis, bacterial tracheitis, airway foreign body, laryngomalacia, recurrent respiratory papillomatosis, subglottic stenosis, vocal fold paralysis, vocal cord paralysis, hemangioma, laryngoscopy, bronchoscopy, supraglottoplasty, tracheotomy.