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Respir Res. 2002;3 Suppl 1:S40-5.

Prevention and treatment of respiratory syncytial virus bronchiolitis and postbronchiolitic wheezing.

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Wilhelmina Children's Hospital, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands.


Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the primary cause of hospitalization for acute respiratory tract illness in general and specifically for bronchiolitis in young children. The link between RSV bronchiolitis and reactive airway disease is not completely understood, even though RSV bronchiolitis is frequently followed by recurrent episodes of wheezing. Therapy with ribavirin does not appear to significantly reduce long-term respiratory outcome of RSV lower respiratory tract infection, and corticosteroid or bronchodilator therapy may possibly improve outcomes only on a short-term basis. No vaccine against RSV is yet available. It is not known whether prophylaxis with RSV intravenous immune globulin or palivizumab can reduce postbronchiolitic wheezing.

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