A prospective randomized study to determine the efficacy of steroids in treatment of croup

J Pediatr. 1979 Feb;94(2):194-6. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3476(79)80821-5.


We evaluated the use of dexamethasone in the management of acute laryngotracheobronchitis (croup). Thirty patients, ranging in age from eight to 60 months, were evaluated in a prospective, double-blind study. Patients received dexamethasone, 0.3 mg/kg at the time of admission and a similar dose 2 hours later, and were compared with a placebo group receiving saline. Sixteen patients received dexamethasone and 14 patients received the placebo. Severity of each group was scored by a standardized system. Patients receiving dexamethasone had a mean admission score of 8.46 points; patients receiving placebo, 8.14. Twenty-four hours after admission the patients in the treatment group had a mean score of 1.19 as contrasted with a score of 5.58 for the placebo group (P less than 0.01). We concluded that dexamethasone when administered in adequate dosage by an intramuscular route hastens the recovery of infants and children with acute uncomplicated croup.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Croup / drug therapy*
  • Dexamethasone / therapeutic use*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Laryngitis / drug therapy*
  • Placebos
  • Prospective Studies


  • Placebos
  • Dexamethasone