Reflux May Contribute to Croup

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Sept. 22, 2008 — Researchers at a medical conference this week aresuggesting that children with recurrent croup be tested for reflux, which may be a contributingfactor.

As any parent who has listened to a child with croup can attest, it is ascary sound. Croup is characterized by a loud cough that sounds like a seal barking. There can alsobe wheezing and difficulty breathing.

Though it is commonly believed that croup is caused by a virus, upper airwaycomplications have also been considered a factor.

Researchers evaluated 80 children with recurrent croup (more than threeepisodes in a year) and found that 26 had narrowing of the airways. Of thosewith narrowed airways, 19 had acid reflux that backed up into the throat andvoice box area.

Overall, 56% of the children were suspected to have reflux after evaluationand testing.

The researchers presented their findings at the 2008 American Academy ofOtolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery annual meeting in Chicago.

They suggest that children with multiple episodes of croup be tested forreflux. With proper preventive treatment of reflux, future episodes of croupmay be avoided.

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