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The viral aetiology of croup and recurrent croup
  1. S R Wall1,
  2. D Wat1,
  3. O B Spiller1,
  4. C M Gelder2,
  5. S Kotecha1,
  6. I J M Doull1
  1. 1
    Child Health, Wales College of Medicine, Cardiff University, Cardiff, Wales, UK
  2. 2
    Department of Respiratory Medicine, Llandough Hospital, Penarth, Wales, UK
  1. Dr Iolo Doull, Child Health, Wales College of Medicine, Cardiff University, Cardiff CF14 4XN, Wales, UK; doullij{at}


Background: Historically croup was subdivided into classic “viral” croup with associated viral upper respiratory tract infections, and recurrent or spasmodic croup where asthma and allergies were thought more important.

Methods: All children admitted to the University Hospital of Wales with croup in 2003 were eligible. Baseline demographics including croup score were recorded and per-nasal swabs taken for virus detection by RT-PCR. Recurrent croup was defined as at least one other admission for croup in the preceding or following 3 years.

Results: Sixty (29.4%) children entered the study, and a viral pathogen was detected in 41 (68%). There was no significant difference in the rate of virus detection between those with single episode croup and recurrent croup.

Conclusions: The aetiologies of viral and recurrent croup appear similar.

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  • Competing interests: None.

  • Funding: This research was funded by SPARKS: Sport Aiding medical Research for KidS.

  • Ethics approval: The study was approved by the south east Wales local research ethics committee.

  • Patient consent: Obtained.