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Croup is a common respiratory illness in children. The word croup is derived from the Anglo-Saxon word kropan, which means“to cry aloud.” The illness commonly is manifested in young children by a hoarse voice; dry, barking cough; inspiratory stridor;and a variable amount of respiratory distress that develops over a brief period of time.

The term “croup syndrome” refers to a group of diseases that varies in anatomic involvement and etiologic agents and includes laryngotracheitis, spasmodic croup, bacterial tracheitis,laryngotracheobronchitis, and laryngotracheobronchopneumonitis. Although the terms “laryngotracheitis” and“laryngotracheobronchitis” frequently are used interchangeably in the literature, they represent two different disease states. The most common and most typical form of the viral croup syndrome is acute laryngotracheitis, which involves obstruction of the upper airway in the area of the larynx, infraglottic tissues, and trachea and is due to an infectious agent. The lung parenchyma...

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