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Acute epiglotittis (comparison with croup)

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

feature

epiglottitis

croup

organism

H. influenzae

parainfluenza virus

age

generally 2-6 years old, may occur in older children and adults

generally less than 2 years old, may occur in children 6 months to 6 years

onset

rapid

gradual

site

supraglottic

subglottic

temperature

high fever

low grade fever

dysphagia

severe

absent (mild)

dispnoea

+++

variable

drooling

present

not present

stridor

inspiratory or expiratory

mainly inspiratory

lymph nodes

+++

+

cough

not common

barking cough

voice

muffled

hoarse

posture

sitting forward

lying down

behaviour

quiet; terrified

struggling

colour

grey

pink

X-ray

thumb sign (+)

steeple sign (+)

previous attack

none

may have had previous attack

Note :

  • thumb sign - enlarged round epiglottis which looks like a thumb print
  • steeple sign - see investigations (croup)

Reference:


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