Management of children hospitalized for laryngotracheobronchitis

Pediatr Pulmonol. 1986 May-Jun;2(3):159-62. doi: 10.1002/ppul.1950020308.


During a 12-month period, 527 consecutive admissions for laryngotracheobronchitis (LTB) were reviewed to determine the epidemiology of hospitalized LTB patients and to better define patients who may benefit from therapy other than close observation. Viral cultures were obtained in 442 patients and were positive in 70%. Disease severity at the time of admission was unrelated to patient age or sex. Duration of hospitalization, however, was inversely related to age (p less than 0.001). Laboratory investigations were rarely abnormal or of therapeutic value. Patients who on admission had stridor without sternal and chest wall retractions recovered rapidly and spontaneously; they were frequently discharged within 48 hours and never required artificial airways. Children who had sternal and chest wall retractions on admission experienced longer hospitalizations, frequently received medical intervention such as aqueous mist therapy or racemic epinephrine, and had a 6% risk of requiring artificial airway support. This group of children should be studied selectively for the benefits of specific medical therapies and diagnostic evaluations.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Critical Care
  • Croup / classification
  • Croup / diagnostic imaging
  • Croup / therapy*
  • Female
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Intubation, Intratracheal
  • Laryngitis / therapy*
  • Length of Stay
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging
  • Male
  • Neck / diagnostic imaging
  • Parainfluenza Virus 2, Human
  • Radiography