Apparent life-threatening event: a review

Pediatr Clin North Am. 2005 Aug;52(4):1127-46, ix. doi: 10.1016/j.pcl.2005.05.004.


An "apparent life-threatening event" (ALTE) refers to an episode that is of concern to the caregiver and is associated with a combination of apnea, color change, change in tone, choking, or gagging. Although the natural history of ALTE is most often benign, there is a risk for subsequent morbidity and mortality. The provider must stabilize the infant as needed, obtain key history, identify and address any underlying causes, educate the caregivers, and provide a safe disposition. This article summarizes the body of literature concerning ALTE, with specific attention to the diagnosis and management of these cases.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Airway Obstruction / diagnosis
  • Airway Obstruction / etiology
  • Airway Obstruction / physiopathology
  • Airway Obstruction / therapy
  • Apnea / diagnosis*
  • Apnea / etiology
  • Apnea / physiopathology
  • Apnea / therapy
  • Cyanosis / diagnosis
  • Cyanosis / etiology
  • Cyanosis / physiopathology
  • Cyanosis / therapy
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Gagging
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Medical History Taking
  • Monitoring, Physiologic
  • Physical Examination
  • Sudden Infant Death
  • Syndrome