Stridor

Stridor Definition

Stridor is an abnormal, high-pitched, musical breathing sound. It is caused by a blockage or narrowing in the upper airways. It is more often heard during inspiration, frequently without the aid of a stethoscope.

In children, croup, a viral respiratory infection, has stridor as a symptom. When a child has swallowed a foreign object and it becomes lodged in the upper airways, stridor sounds can be heard.

In adults, stridor breath sounds are often due to vocal cords problems. Vocal cord dysfunction can cause partial upper airways blockage resulting in stridor sounds. It occurs in 10-20% of extubated patients.

Causes of stridor are pertussis, croup, epiglottis, aspirations.



Stridor Auscultation

Listening Tips

Stridor will be heard as a loud, high-pitched breath sound typically heard during inspiration. It can also occur throughout the respiratory cycle particularly as a patient's condition worsens. In children, stridor may become louder in the supine position.

Patient Audio Recording

Waveform

The waveform of stridor sounds is not typically used in clinical practice. However it can be a useful tool for learning auscultation of lung and heart sounds.

 stridor waveform image

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This website is intended for use by medical professionals for educational purposes only. For medical care, contact a healthcare provider. Copyright 2017 © Medical Training and Simulation LLC. All Rights Reserved.

This website is intended for use by medical professionals for educational purposes only. For medical care, contact a healthcare provider. Copyright 2017 © Medical Training and Simulation LLC. All Rights Reserved.