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Stridor

Stridor is a high-pitched breath sound, caused by a narrowed or obstructed airway.

PubMed Health Glossary
(Source: Wikipedia)

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Does taking inhaled steorids either before or after being intubated (having a tube down the throat to help you breathe) prevent the painful swelling that can result?

When people in intensive care need assistance breathing, they may need to have a breathing tube inserted down through their windpipe (trachea or airway ‐ the passage to the lungs). After it is taken out (extubation), the airways can be swollen (inflamed). This swelling can make it hard to breathe, cause stridor (noisy breathing), and the tube may need to be replaced. Corticosteroids are anti‐inflammatory drugs that might reduce this swelling. The review of 11 trials involving 2301 people found that using corticosteroids to prevent (or treat) stridor after extubation has not been proven overall effective for babies or children, but this intervention does merit further study particularly for those at high risk to fail extubation. For high risk adults, multiple doses of corticosteroids begun 12‐24 hours before extubation appear to be helpful.

Short acting beta2‐agonists for recurrent wheeze in children under two years of age

Beta‐agonists such as salbutamol are the most frequently prescribed reliever medication for asthma. They work well in adults and children but their effectiveness in infants is less clear. Eight trials were reviewed involving 229 patients in four different settings. Although infants have the capability to respond to salbutamol, there is only limited relief of acute symptoms when given to acutely ill patients. This did not impact on requirement for hospital admission or length of hospital stay. Regular salbutamol has not been shown to offer protection against developing symptoms.

Ketotifen alone or as additional medication for long‐term control of asthma and wheeze in children

Children with asthma can find using inhaled treatments medication difficult and so oral medication such as ketotifen, which is an antihistamine, can be used to help control symptoms. The review found that mild asthma symptoms were well‐controlled in the studies of 4 to 32 week duration with reduction in use of rescue bronchodilator, rescue oral steroids and in exacerbations as well as clear perception of effectiveness from physicians, parents and children.

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Summaries for consumers

Does taking inhaled steorids either before or after being intubated (having a tube down the throat to help you breathe) prevent the painful swelling that can result?

When people in intensive care need assistance breathing, they may need to have a breathing tube inserted down through their windpipe (trachea or airway ‐ the passage to the lungs). After it is taken out (extubation), the airways can be swollen (inflamed). This swelling can make it hard to breathe, cause stridor (noisy breathing), and the tube may need to be replaced. Corticosteroids are anti‐inflammatory drugs that might reduce this swelling. The review of 11 trials involving 2301 people found that using corticosteroids to prevent (or treat) stridor after extubation has not been proven overall effective for babies or children, but this intervention does merit further study particularly for those at high risk to fail extubation. For high risk adults, multiple doses of corticosteroids begun 12‐24 hours before extubation appear to be helpful.

Short acting beta2‐agonists for recurrent wheeze in children under two years of age

Beta‐agonists such as salbutamol are the most frequently prescribed reliever medication for asthma. They work well in adults and children but their effectiveness in infants is less clear. Eight trials were reviewed involving 229 patients in four different settings. Although infants have the capability to respond to salbutamol, there is only limited relief of acute symptoms when given to acutely ill patients. This did not impact on requirement for hospital admission or length of hospital stay. Regular salbutamol has not been shown to offer protection against developing symptoms.

Ketotifen alone or as additional medication for long‐term control of asthma and wheeze in children

Children with asthma can find using inhaled treatments medication difficult and so oral medication such as ketotifen, which is an antihistamine, can be used to help control symptoms. The review found that mild asthma symptoms were well‐controlled in the studies of 4 to 32 week duration with reduction in use of rescue bronchodilator, rescue oral steroids and in exacerbations as well as clear perception of effectiveness from physicians, parents and children.

See all (21)

More about Stridor

Photo of a child

Also called: Stridulous breathing

See Also: Croup

Other terms to know:
Larynx (Voice Box)

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