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Am J Dis Child. 1991 Jun;145(6):618-22.

The causes of hospital-treated acute lower respiratory tract infection in children.

Author information

1
National Public Health Institute, Helsinki, Finland.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the etiologic agents in children with acute lower respiratory infection.

DESIGN:

A survey of a series of patients.

SETTING:

General pediatric hospital serving an urban population with and without referrals in Helsinki, Finland.

PARTICIPANTS:

135 Finnish children aged 2 months to 15 years (mean, 1.75 years), with clinically defined acute lower respiratory infection (with difficulty of breathing), or found to have fever and a pneumonic infiltrate on chest roentgenogram.

SELECTION PROCEDURES:

Consecutive sample on voluntary basis.

INTERVENTIONS:

None.

MAIN RESULTS:

Of 121 children with adequate samples, an etiologic diagnosis could be established in 84 (70%): 30 (25%) had bacterial, 30 (25%) viral, and 24 (20%) mixed infections. Antibody assays alone identified the agent in 91% of positive cases.

CONCLUSIONS:

Bacterial infections are common but generally underestimated in acute lower respiratory infection; serologic methods add significantly to their detection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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