Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Laryngotracheobronchitis Evaluation

The evaluation of croup begins with a medical history and physical examination.

Physical findings in children with croup may include:

Abnormal Breathing Rates
AgeUpper NormalAbnormal
6mo - 1 year40 breaths per min60 breaths per min
1 - 3 years30 breaths per min50 breaths per min
4 - 5 years28 breaths per min45 breaths per min
5 - 6 years26 breaths per min40 breaths per min
6 - 12 years24 breaths per min30 breaths per min
Over 12 years20 breaths per min25+ breaths per min

The diagnosis of croup is made without testing.

Tests that may be used to evaluate croup include:
  • Pulse oximetry
  • Chest x-ray
  • Soft tissue x-ray of the neck:
  • Vaponephrine treatment:
    • A positive response to this medicine usually supports the diagnosis of croup.

Continue to Laryngotracheobronchitis Treatment

Last Updated: Dec 8, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Laryngotracheobronchitis References
  1. Bjornson CL, Klassen TP, Williamson J, Brant R, Mitton C, Plint A, Bulloch B, Evered L, Johnson DW; Pediatric Emergency Research Canada Network. A randomized trial of a single dose of oral dexamethasone for mild croup. N Engl J Med. 2004 Sep 23;351(13):1306-13. [15385657]
  2. Custer JR. A randomized trial of a single dose of oral dexamethasone for mild croup. J Pediatr. 2005 Mar;146(3):434-5. [15756240]
  3. Griffin S, Ellis S, Fitzgerald-Barron A, Rose J, Egger M. Nebulised steroid in the treatment of croup: a systematic review of randomised controlled trials. Br J Gen Pract. 2000 Feb;50(451):135-41. [10750214]
  4. Johnson D. Croup. Clin Evid. 2004 Dec;(12):401-26. [15865647]
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