Laryngomalacia /Infantile or Floppy Larynx

01 What Do I Need To Know?

Noisy inspiratory breathing in an otherwise well infant, suggests the diagnosis of laryngomalacia. Laryngomalacia is caused by the collapse of the supraglottic structures during inspiration due to abnormalities in the laryngeal cartilage affecting the epiglottis or arytenoids. The floppy cartilage allows prolapse of the affected structure over the larynx during inspiration because of the negative relative air pressure and inward air movement. The resultant inspiratory noise may be high-pitched, coarse, or low-pitched. Laryngomalacia is the most common cause of inspiratory noise in infants and classically is associated with inspiratory stridor. The infant is generally well, with a normal cry and no cyanosis. The inspiratory noise is worse with supine positioning, as the epiglottis flops down to cause further obstruction. The inspiratory noise is also worse with crying. Cyanosis and hoarseness are not symptoms of laryngomalacia.

02 What Others Say

  • Patient

Congenital  Throat problems

03 Clinicians Tools and Resources

  • Excellent link from the Cincinnati Children's Hospital 

Laryngomalacia or Floppy larynx


The information published here has been reviewed by Flourish Paediatrics and represents the available published literature at the time of review.
The information is not intended to take the place of medical advice.
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Last updated: 04/12/2010