Reflux a possible factor in recurrent pediatric croup

Armen Hareyan's picture

Children who suffer from several occurrences of croup should be evaluated for reflux disorders, says new research presented at the 2008 American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (AAO-HNSF) Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO in Chicago, IL.

Croup is characterized by a loud cough that may sound like the barking of a seal. It may be accompanied by fast or difficult breathing, and sometimes a grunting noise or wheezing while breathing.


The symptoms of croup can be very upsetting to parents and caregivers, as they may be mistaken for choking or other serious airway issues.

It has been commonly believed that croup is caused by a virus, however, upper airway complications have also been suggested. Researchers did an airway evaluation on 80 children who had recurrent croup to see if there had been any narrowing in the upper airways which could indicate reflux. Of the patients who had narrowing in the airway (33 percent), 19 of those (73 percent) also manifested laryngopharyngeal reflux.

Researchers noted many episodes of croup could be averted if it was determined that reflux was a component of the patient's diagnosis and proper preventive treatment could be prescribed.