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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Laryngomalacia


Other Names for this Disease

  • Congenital laryngeal stridor
  • Congenital laryngomalacia
  • Laryngomalacia congenital
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Overview

Laryngomalacia is an abnormality of the cartilage of the voice box (larynx) that is present at birth. The condition is characterized by "floppy" cartilage collapsing over the larynx when air is drawn into the lungs (inspiration), leading to airway obstruction. This obstruction causes a noise which may sound like nasal congestion or may be a more high-pitched sound (stridor). Airway sounds typically begin at 4-6 weeks of age. Affected infants have a higher risk of gastroesophageal reflux, and in severe cases may have feeding problems. In rare cases, hypoxemia or hypoventilation may interfere with normal growth and development. The cause of this condition is unknown, but it is thought to be due to delayed maturation of the supporting structures of the larynx. In more than 90% of cases it gradually improves on its own, and noises disappear by age 2 in virtually all infants.[1]
Last updated: 10/22/2012

References

  1. Stephanie Lovinsky-Desir. Laryngomalacia. Medscape Reference. May 24, 2012; http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1002527-overview. Accessed 10/16/2012.
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  • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. Click on the link to view this information. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
  • Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) is a catalog of human genes and genetic disorders. Each entry has a summary of related medical articles. It is meant for health care professionals and researchers. OMIM is maintained by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 
  • Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs.  Access to this database is free of charge.
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Laryngomalacia. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.
Other Names for this Disease
  • Congenital laryngeal stridor
  • Congenital laryngomalacia
  • Laryngomalacia congenital
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.