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Arch Pediatr. 2002 Jun;9(6):572-80.

[Prospective regional study of an epidemic of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) bronchiolitis].

[Article in French]

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  • 1Service de pédiatrie 2, hôpital d'enfants, 10, boulevard du Maréchal-de-Lattre-de-Tassigny, 21034 Dijon, France.


This prospective study was designed to identify risk factors associated with admission in pediatric intensive care units (PICU) among infants hospitalized for treatment of RSV induced bronchiolitis. This study was population-based and was conducted in Burgundy, a French region with 1,800,000 inhabitants where passive immunoprophylaxis for RSV bronchiolitis was not set up at the time of the study.


From December 1st 1999 to April 30th 2000, 484 infants were hospitalized for RSV bronchiolitis in Burgundy: 19.6% were born prematurely (gestational age [GA] below 37 weeks) and at admission, 68.3% had a postnatal age below six months (mean = 5 +/- 5.9 months; median value = 3 months). The duration of hospitalization was 7.3 +/- 12.4 days (median value = 6 days). Among the 484 infants, 31 (6.4%) needed admission in PICU, eight needed mechanical ventilation (1.7%) and one died (0.2%). Univariate analysis identified anamnestic risk factors associated with admission in PICU: prematurity; low birth weight; past history of neonatal respiratory distress syndrome (RDS); mechanical ventilation for RDS treatment; bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) and congenital heart disease. Multivariate analysis identified three independent factors associated with an increased risk for admission in PICU: GA below 32 weeks; RDS and congenital heart disease.


This study suggests that population at risk for severe RSV bronchiolitis with PICU admission should include all very preterm infants with RDS whatever the outcome of RDS (with or without BPD). These epidemiological data could be helpful to set up indications for passive immunoprophylaxis of RSV induced bronchiolitis.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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