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J Pediatr. 2010 Oct;157(4):630-4, 634.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2010.04.074. Epub 2010 Jun 19.

Nebulized 5% or 3% hypertonic or 0.9% saline for treating acute bronchiolitis in infants.

Author information

1
Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To compare the efficacy and safety of 5%, 3%, and 0.9% saline solution for treating acute bronchiolitis in the prehospital setting.

STUDY DESIGN:

This was a double-blind trial including consecutive infants aged <18 months treated in an urban urgent care setting. A total of 165 patients were randomized to receive nebulized 5%, 3%, or 0.9% (normal) saline with epinephrine every 4 hours. The primary efficacy outcome was bronchiolitis severity score improvement at 48 hours (chi2 analysis). Scores and oxygen saturation immediately before and after each treatment were recorded to assess safety.

RESULTS:

A total of 187 previously healthy infants (median age, 3.1 months) diagnosed with bronchiolitis were enrolled. Positivity for respiratory syncytial virus was similar in the 3 treatment groups (mean, 56%). At 48 hours, the mean severity score for the 5% saline group was 3.69+/-1.09, and that for the 0.9% saline group was 4.12+/-1.11 (P=.04; difference, 0.43, 95% confidence interval for the difference, 0.02-0.88). The mean severity score for the 3% saline group was intermediate at 4.00+/-1.22. Revisit rates after discharge were similar in the 3 treatment groups. No adverse reactions or other safety concerns were identified.

CONCLUSIONS:

Nebulization with 5% hypertonic saline is safe, can be widely generalizable, and may be superior to current treatment for early outpatient treatment of bronchiolitis.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01016249.

PMID:
20646715
DOI:
10.1016/j.jpeds.2010.04.074
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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