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Chest. 2002 Dec;122(6):2015-20.

Nebulized 3% hypertonic saline solution treatment in ambulatory children with viral bronchiolitis decreases symptoms.

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Pediatrics and Adolescent Ambulatory Community Clinic of General Health Services, The Edith Wolfson Medical Center, 62 Halochamim Street, Holon 58100, Israel.



To determine the utility of inhaled hypertonic saline solution to treat ambulatory infants with viral bronchiolitis.


Randomized, double-blind, controlled trial. Sixty-five ambulatory infants (mean +/- SD age, 12.5 +/- 6 months) with viral bronchiolitis received either of the following: inhalation of 0.5 mL (5 mg) terbutaline added to 2 mL of 0.9% saline solution as a wet nebulized aerosol (control; group 1; n = 32) or 0.5 mL (5 mg) terbutaline added to 2 mL of 3% saline solution administered in the same manner as above (treatment; group 2; n = 33). This therapy was repeated three times every day for 5 days.


The clinical severity (CS) scores at baseline on the first day of treatment were 6.4 +/- 1.8 in group 1 and 6.6 +/- 1.5 in group 2 (not significant). After the first day, the CS score was significantly lower (better) in group 2 as compared to group 1 on each of the treatment days (p < 0.005; Fig 1 ). On the first day, the percentage decrease in the CS score after inhalation therapy was significantly better for group 2 (33%) than for group 1 (13%) [p < 0.005; Fig 1 ]. On the second day, the percentage improvement was better in the hypertonic saline solution-treated patients (group 2) as compared to the 0.9% saline solution-treated patients (group 1) [p = 0.01; Fig 1 ].


We conclude that in nonasthmatic, nonseverely ill ambulatory infants with viral bronchiolitis, aerosolized 3% saline solution plus 5 mg terbutaline is effective in decreasing symptoms as compared to 0.9% saline solution plus 5 mg terbutaline.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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