Epiglottitis, Acute Laryngitis, and Croup

  • Ilkka Kivekäs
  • Markus RautiainenEmail author


Epiglottitis, acute laryngitis, and croup (acute laryngotracheobronchitis) are infections of the upper airway, affecting the epiglottis, larynx, and larynx and trachea, respectively. Epiglottitis is a bacterial infection, while viruses cause nearly all cases of acute laryngitis and croup. Acute laryngitis in adults is usually self-limited. Epiglottitis, which used to be prevalent in children under age 5, is now seen more often in adults than in children. This decline in childhood epiglottitis is due to the Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccine. Streptococci, including Streptococcus pneumoniae, are now important causes of epiglottitis. Croup is a viral infection, usually due to parainfluenza virus, that primarily affects children ages 6 months to 3 years old. Epiglottitis and croup can cause life-threatening loss of the airway, and misdiagnosis or mismanagement can result in fatalities. This chapter reviews the clinical features and treatment of these three upper respiratory tract infections.


Epiglottitis Supraglottitis Acute laryngitis Croup Laryngotracheobronchitis Laryngotracheitis 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Faculty of Medicine and Life SciencesUniversity of TampereTampereFinland

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