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Isr Med Assoc J. 2006 Mar;8(3):169-73.

Hypertonic saline/epinephrine treatment in hospitalized infants with viral bronchiolitis reduces hospitalization stay: 2 years experience.

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Pediatric Pulmonary Unit, Wolfson Medical Center, Holon, Israel.



We recently published preliminary evidence on the effectiveness of hypertonic saline in infants with viral bronchiolitis.


To further establish the efficacy of nebulized hypertonic saline in these infants.


In a continuing, second-year randomized, doubleblind controlled trial, an additional 41 infants (age 2.6 +/- 1 months) hospitalized with viral bronchiolitis were recruited during the winter of 2001-2002. The infants received inhalation of 1.5 mg epinephrine dissolved either in 4 ml normal (0.9%) saline (Group I, n=20) or 4 ml hypertonic (3%) saline (Group II, n=22). The therapy was repeated three times daily until discharge. Pooling our 2 years of experience (2000-2002), a total of 93 hospitalized infants with viral bronchiolitis were recruited; 45 were assigned to Group I and 48 to Group II.


The clinical scores at baseline were 7.6 +/- 0.7 for Group I vs. 7.4 +/- 1.3 for Group II (P = NS). However, the clinical scores at days 1 and 2 after inhalation differed significantly between the two groups, invariably favoring Group II: 7 +/- 1 vs. 6.25 +/- 1.1 (P< 0.05), 6.45 +/- 1 vs. 5.35 +/- 1.35 (P< 0.05), respectively. Adding aerosolized 3% saline to 1.5 mg epinephrine reduced the hospitalization stay from 3.5 +/- 1.7 days in Group I to 2.6 +/- 1.4 in Group II (P< 0.05). The pooled data of both years revealed that adding 3% saline to the inhalation mixture decreased hospitalization stay from 3.6 +/- 1.6 to 2.8 +/- 1.3 days (P< 0.05).


This second-year experience and our 2 year pooled data analysis strengthen the evidence that the combination of 3% saline/1.5 mg epinephrine benefits hospitalized infants with viral bronchiolitis.

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