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Indian Pediatr. 2013 Aug;50(8):743-7. Epub 2012 Dec 5.

Hypertonic (3%) saline vs 0.93% saline nebulization for acute viral bronchiolitis: a randomized controlled trial.

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Department of Pediatrics, SPMCHI, SMS Medical College and Mahatma Gandhi Medical College, Sitapura, Jaipur, Rajasthan Correspondence to: Dr Bhagwan Sahai Sharma, B-2, New Hira Bagh Flats, Near Nurses Hostel, SMS Hospital Campus, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302 004, India.



To compare the length of hospital stay (primary) and improvement in clinical severity scores (secondary) among children with bronchiolitis nebulized with 3 % hypertonic saline or 0.9% saline.


Randomized double blind controlled trial.


Tertiary care teaching hospital.


Hospitalized children (1-24 months) with acute bronchiolitis of moderate severity.


Nebulization of 4 ml of 3% hypertonic saline or 4 mL of 0.9% saline, along with 2.5 mg salbutamol, at 4-hourly intervals till the patient was ready for discharge.


Baseline characteristics were similar in two groups. Median clinical severity score at admission was 6 (IQR-1) in both the groups. Clinical severity scores monitored afterwards 12-hourly till discharge (132 h) did not show statistically significant differences in 3% and 0.9% saline groups. Mean length of hospital stay (time to reach predefined clinical severity score<3) was 63.93 ± 22.43 h in 3% saline group and 63.51 ± 21.27 h in 0.9% saline group (P=0.878). No adverse events were reported by the parents, caregivers or treating medical attendants in both groups.


Nebulized 3 % saline is not superior to 0.9% saline in infants with clinically diagnosed acute bronchiolitis.

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