Key Points

• Most cases of acute stridor are secondary to inflammatory disorders such as croup, epiglottitis, and tracheitis.

• Neoplasia must be considered in adults with voice or swallowing complaints.

• Visualization of the laryngopharynx is required to evaluate any patient with persistent or severe stridor or with voice or throat symptoms.

• Parainfluenza virus is the most common cause of croup.

• Laryngomalacia is the most common cause of chronic stridor in neonates.

• Vocal cord nodules are always bilateral; polyps and cysts are usually unilateral.

• It is essential to elicit smoking and alcohol histories in patients with voice complaints because of the association with cancer.

• Although often idiopathic or iatrogenic, vocal cord paralysis requires thorough investigation.

• Vocal cord dysfunction is often misdiagnosed as asthma.

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