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Paediatr Respir Rev. 2010 Mar;11(1):39-45; quiz 45. doi: 10.1016/j.prrv.2009.10.001. Epub 2009 Nov 26.

Acute viral bronchiolitis in children- a very common condition with few therapeutic options.

Author information

1
Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Queensland Children's Respiratory Centre, Royal Children's Hospital, University of Queensland, Herston Rd, Herston, Queensland, Australia 4029. Claire_wainwright@health.qld.gov.au

Abstract

Acute viral bronchiolitis remains a cause of substantial morbidity and health care costs in young infants. It is the most common lower respiratory tract condition and most common reason for admission to hospital in infants. Many respiratory viruses have been associated with acute viral bronchiolitis although respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) remains the most frequently identified virus. Most infants have a mild self limiting illness while others have more severe illness and require hospital admission and some will need ventilatory support. Differences in innate immune function in response to the respiratory viral insult as well as differences in the geometry of the airways may explain some of the variability in clinical pattern. Young age and history of prematurity remain the most important risk factors although male gender, indigenous status, exposure to tobacco smoke, poor socioeconomic factors and associated co-morbidities such as chronic lung disease and congenital heart disease increase the risks of more severe illness. Supportive therapy remains the major treatment option as no specific treatments to date have been shown to provide clinically important benefits except for inhaled hypertonic saline. Prophylaxis of high risk infants with palivizumab should be considered although the cost effectiveness is still unclear. Many questions remain regarding optimal management approaches for infants requiring hospitalisation with bronchiolitis including use of nasogastric feeding, the optimal role of supplemental oxygen, optimal use of hypertonic saline and the role of combinations of therapies, the use of heliox or modern physiotherapy approaches.

PMID:
20113991
DOI:
10.1016/j.prrv.2009.10.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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