This page provides an overview of the stridor content available on this website.

Our stridor lesson can be found in the intermediate lung sounds module.. Secondly, our reference index is designed to provide quick access to stridor sounds, with audio tracks, listening guides and waveforms. Use this link for quick reference to stridor and other breath sounds.

Stridor Definition

Stridor is an abnormal, high-pitched, musical breathing sound. It is caused by a blockage or narrowing in the upper airways. It is more often heard during inspiration, frequently without the aid of a stethoscope.

In children, croup, a viral respiratory infection, has stridor as a symptom. When a child has swallowed a foreign object and it becomes lodged in the upper airways, stridor sounds can be heard.

In adults, stridor breath sounds are often due to vocal cords problems. Vocal cord dysfunction can cause partial upper airways blockage resulting in stridor sounds. It occurs in 10-20% of extubated patients.

Causes of stridor are pertussis, croup, epiglottis, aspirations.

Stridor Audio

Listening Tips

Stridor will be heard as a loud, high-pitched breath sound typically heard during inspiration. It can also occur throughout the respiratory cycle particularly as a patient's condition worsens. In children, stridor may become louder in the supine position.

Stridor Audio Recording

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Audio Waveform

The waveform of stridor sounds is not typically used in clinical practice. However it can be a useful tool for learning auscultation of lung and heart sounds.

 stridor waveform image

Respiratory Sounds Reference Guide

Our auscultation reference guide provides quick access to stridor as well as many other adventitious sounds. Each sound is described also with an audio recording and waveform.

reference guide button

Quick Links to Other Breath Sounds

While we have many breath sound lessons and quick references on this website. Please use the links below.

Related Breath Sounds Lessons

Learn important breath sounds. Our lessons cover over 15 adventitious breath sounds. Please review the lesson descriptions and links below.

Basics of Lung Sounds
The goal of this basic course in lung sounds is to improve auscultation observational skills. We focus on describing important breath sounds and in providing recordings of each. Many students find that waveform tracings aid in learning lung sounds; we have included dynamic (moving cursor) waveforms with each lesson. The anatomy pages use illustrations to reveal an example of each lung sound (anatomy not yet available on smartphones).
Lesson List
Intermediate Lung Sounds
The goal of this intermediate course is to expand your observational skills when auscultating breath sounds. The course lessons include voiced sounds: bronchophony, egophony and whispered pectoriloquy. We also provide auscultation lessons on several types of wheezes, crackles and stridor. Each of these lung sound lessons includes audio, text and dynamic waveform. The anatomy pages use illustrations to reveal an example of each lung sound (anatomy not yet available on smartphones).
Lesson List