Croup is a common respiratory illness caused by a viral infection in the airway. Accompanied by a barky cough and respiratory distress, this illness is most common in children aged birth to 6 years, peaking at 2 years of age.



Key studies

Key Study: Controlled delivery of high vs low humidity vs mist therapy for croup in emergency departments: a randomized controlled trial (2006)


Scolnik, D, Coates, AL, Stephens, D, Da Silva, Z, Lavine, E, Schuh, S,

Objective: To determine whether a significant difference in the clinical Westley croup score exists in children with moderate to severe croup who were admitted to the emergency department and who received either 100% humidity or 40% humidity via nebulizer or blow-by humidity. Published: 2006.

Key Study: A randomized trial of a single dose of oral dexamethasone for mild croup (2004)


Bjornson, CL, Klassen, TP, Williamson, J, Brant, R, Mitton, C, Plint, A, Bull...

Objective: The primary outcome was a return to a medical care provider for croup within seven days after treatment. The secondary outcome was the presence of ongoing symptoms of croup on days 1, 2, and 3 after treatment. Other outcomes included economic costs, hours of sleep lost by the child, and stress on the part of the parent in relation to the child's illness. Published: 2004.

Key Study: Outpatient treatment of moderate croup with dexamethasone: intramuscular versus oral dosing (2000)


Rittichier, KK, Ledwith, CA,

Objective: Steroid use for the treatment of croup has been supported by several studies, although few have addressed the use of oral dexamethasone for outpatient management. The efficacy of oral (PO) versus intramuscular (IM) dosing of dexamethasone in the outpatient treatment of moderate croup are compared in this study. Published: 2000.

Key Study: A comparison of nebulized budesonide, intramuscular dexamethasone, and placebo for moderately severe croup (1998)


Johnson, DW, Jacobson, S, Edney, PC, Hadfield, P, Mundy, ME, Schuh, S,

Objective: To study how budesonide compares with dexamethasone, the conventional therapy for croup, and whether either reduces the rate of hospitalization. Published: 1998.

Key Study: Nebulized budesonide and oral dexamethasone for treatment of croup: a randomized controlled trial (1998)


Klassen, TP, Craig, WR, Moher, D, Osmond, MH, Pasterkamp, H, Sutcliffe, T, Wa...

Objective: To determine the effectiveness of 3 glucocorticoid regimens in patients with croup. Published: 1998.

Key Study: Oral and inhaled steroids in croup - A randomized, placebo-controlled trial (1995)


Geelhoed, GC, Macdonald, WB,

Objective: To compare the efficacy of oral dexamethasone and inhaled budesonide in children hospitalized with croup, using a three-way, double blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial design. Published: 1995.

Key Study: Placebo-controlled trial of prednisolone in children intubated for croup (1992)


Tibballs, J, Shann, FA, Landau, LI,

Objective: To study the effect of prednisolone on two clinical endpoints--the duration of intubation and the need for reintubation. Published: 1992.

Key Study: Nebulized racemic epinephrine by IPPB for the treatment of croup: a double-blind study (1978)


Westley, CR, Cotton, EK, Brooks, JG,

Objective: To test the effectiveness of racemic epinephrine for the treatment of croup in comparison to saline. Published: 1978.