croup (comparison with acute epiglotittis)

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comparison of the features of epiglottitis and croup

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:

Last reviewed 01/2018

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