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Recurrent stridor in a 9-year-old child after a choking and aspiration event

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This is a case report of a 9-year-old boy with new onset stridor 5 days after a choking event. Symptoms would last 5‐45 minutes. His stridor was unresponsive to nebulized epinephrine but improved when he relaxed. Otlaryngology examination noted laryngeal irritation that was suggestive of gastroesophageal reflux (GER). Episodic stridor continued, despite treatment for GER, prompting hospitalization. On admission, barium swallow indicated hyperinflation of the left lung and bronchoscopy confirmed the aspiration of food. Within 12 hours of bronchoscopy, his stridor recurred. The recurrence of stridor after bronchoscopy resulted in further evaluation of his upper airway disorder. The true diagnosis was revealed during methacholine challenge. This case illustrates a unique presentation of a common upper respiratory disorder, the need for a high index of suspicion to make the diagnosis, and the importance of the multispecialty approach needed to treat patients with this disorder.
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Keywords: Allergic rhinitis; aspiration; asthma; choking; gastroesophageal reflux (GER); stridor; vocal cord dysfunction (VCD)

Document Type: Case Report

Affiliations: Department of Pediatrics, Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center, Memphis, Tennessee, USA

Publication date: March 1, 2010

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  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma and by having the potential to directly impact the quality of patient care. AAP welcomes the submission of original works including peer-reviewed original research and clinical trial results. Additionally, as the official journal of the Eastern Allergy Conference (EAC), AAP will publish content from EAC poster sessions as well as review articles derived from EAC lectures.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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