Diagnostic Highlights

General Comments: Most children require no diagnostic testing and can be diagnosed by the history and physical. If diagnostic testing is needed, it involves identifying the causative organism, determining oxygenation status, and ruling out masses as a cause of obstruction.


Normal Result

Abnormality with Condition


Blood culture; throat culture

No growth; no organism identified

Causative organism identified

Distinguishes between bacterial and viral infections

Pulse oximetry



Low oxygen saturation is present if there is obstruction in the lung passages


Normal structure

Narrowing of the upper airway and edema in epiglottal and laryngeal areas

Narrowing and/or blocked airway is characteristic of LTB

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