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Table 7 Main clinical characteristics of laryngotracheitis, epiglottitis, bacterial tracheitis and spasmodic croup

From: Management of acute respiratory diseases in the pediatric population: the role of oral corticosteroids

Feature Laryngotracheitis Epiglottitis Bacterial tracheitis Spasmodic croup
Viral prodromal illness ++ - + +
Mean age 6–36 months 3-4 years 4-5 years 6–36 months
Illness onset Gradual Acute Acute Sudden
Fever +/- + + -
Quality of stridor Harsh Mild Harsh Harsh
Drooling, neck hyperextension - ++ + -
Cough ++ - ++ ++
Sore throat +/- ++ +/- -
Recurrence + - - ++
Hospitalization and intubation Rare Frequent Frequent Rare
  1. From: Bell L: Middle respiratory tract infections. In: Pediatric Infectious Diseases: Principle and Practice. Edited by Jenson H, Baltimore R, 2nd edn. Philadelphia: Saunders; 2002: 772. [98]