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Acta Paediatr. 2011 Feb;100(2):216-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2010.02004.x. Epub 2010 Sep 29.

Central apnoeas in infants with bronchiolitis admitted to the paediatric intensive care unit.

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Schneider Children's Medical Center of Israel, Petah Tiqwa, Israel.



To further characterize apnoea(s) complicating bronchiolitis because of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), to describe the incidence of this complication and identify possible risk factors for apnoea(s) and its development.


The files of infants admitted to the paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) for RSV bronchiolitis during three bronchiolitis seasons (2004-2007) were reviewed for demographic, clinical and laboratory parameters. Parameters were compared between patients with and without apnoeas.


Seventy-nine patients met the study criteria: 43 were admitted to the PICU for central apnoeas and the remainder for respiratory distress or failure. The percentage of infants admitted for apnoea increased during the study period (28.6 to 77.1%, p = 0.004). The overall prevalence of apnoea in this population was 4.3%. Possible risk factors for apnoea(s) were younger age (1.3 vs. 4.3 months, p = 0.002), lower admission weight (3.3 vs. 5 kg, p < 0.001), lower gestational age (35.8 vs. 37.8 weeks, p = 0.01), admission from the emergency room (50% vs. 9.1%, p < 0.001) and lack of hyperthermia (p < 0.001). Respiratory acidosis was found to be a protective factor on logistic regression analysis.


The prevalence of apnoea in infants admitted to the PICU for RSV bronchiolitis in our centre may be increasing. Preterm, younger infants with no fever are at relatively high risk of apnoea at presentation, while older infants with fever are at lower risk.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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