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Mayo Clinic Talks Episode 259: What’s That Sound? Maybe It’s Stridor

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Registration required for CME credit


Guest: Shelagh A. Cofer, M.D.

Host: Darryl S. Chutka, M.D.

Stridor is a musical sound due to disrupted airflow in an individual’s airway. In many instances it’s due to a benign cause but it can also represent a serious problem, possibly even life-threatening. In today’s podcast, we’ll learn about the various causes of stridor and when we need to be concerned that it represents a serious health issue. Our guest for this podcast is Dr. Shelagh Cofer, a pediatric otolaryngology specialist at the Mayo Clinic. We’ll discuss how stridor differs from wheezing, the most common causes of stridor in both children and adults and what symptoms we should be watching for that might suggest a serious cause for stridor. We’ll also cover the evaluation of patients with stridor, which imaging studies may be helpful and when an ENT consultation is warranted.

Specific topics:
•    Definition of stridor
•    Difference between stridor, stertor, and wheezing
•    Most common causes of stridor in both children and adults
•    Croup as a form of stridor
•    Important questions we should be asking our patients about stridor to identify those at risk for airway obstruction – including the SPECS-R mnemonic
•    Tests and imaging studies which may be helpful in the evaluation of a patient with stridor
•    Treatments for the more common causes of stridor

Additional resources: 
•    Zoumalan, R; Maddalozzo, J; Holinger, LD. Etiology of stridor in infants. Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 2007; 116(5):329-334. doi: 10.1.1896.429

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Target Audience

This course is intended for primary care providers: physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of the Mayo Clinic Talks Podcast course, learners should be able to:

  • Describe the current treatment recommendations for patients with hyperlipidemia.
  • List the various categories of hypertension.
  • Describe the current pharmacologic treatment available for patients with osteoporosis.

Participation in this Mayo Clinic online course does not indicate nor guarantee competence or proficiency in the performance of any procedures which may be discussed or taught in this course.

Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 0.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit
  • 0.25 Attendance
Course opens: 
Course expires: 

Accreditation Statement
In support of improving patient care, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.

Credit Statement(s):


Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science designates this enduring material for a maximum of 0.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

For disclosure information regarding Mayo Clinic School of Continuous Professional Development accreditation review committee member(s), please go here to review disclosures.

Available Credit

  • 0.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit
  • 0.25 Attendance


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