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Influenza Other Respir Viruses. 2014 Mar;8(2):209-16. doi: 10.1111/irv.12224. Epub 2014 Jan 2.

Epidemiological and clinical data of hospitalizations associated with respiratory syncytial virus infection in children under 5 years of age in Spain: FIVE multicenter study.

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Regional Universitario Hospital, Málaga, Spain.



Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is an important pathogen in lower respiratory tract infections (LRTI) in infants, but there are limited data concerning patients with underlying conditions and children older than 2 years of age.


We have designed a prospective observational multicenter national study performed in 26 Spanish hospitals (December 2011-March 2012). Investigational cases were defined as children with underlying chronic diseases and were compared with a group of previously healthy children (proportion 1:2). Clinical data were compared between the groups.


A total of 1763 children hospitalized due to RSV infection during the inclusion period were analyzed. Of them, 225 cases and 460 healthy children were enrolled in the study. Underlying diseases observed were respiratory (64%), cardiovascular (25%), and neurologic (12%), as well as chromosomal abnormalities (7·5%), immunodeficiencies (6·7%), and inborn errors of metabolism (3·5%). Cases were statistically older than previously healthy children (average age: 16·3 versus 5·5 months). Cases experienced hypoxemia more frequently (P < 0·001), but patients with respiratory diseases required oxygen therapy more often (OR: 2·99; 95% CI: 1·03-8·65). Mechanical ventilation was used more in patients with cardiac diseases (OR: 3·0; 95% CI: 1·07-8·44) and in those with inborn errors of metabolism (OR: 12·27; 95% CI: 2·11-71·47). This subgroup showed a higher risk of admission to the PICU (OR: 6·7, 95% CI: 1·18-38·04). Diagnosis of pneumonia was more frequently found in cases (18·2% versus 9·3%; P < 0·01).


A significant percentage of children with RSV infection have underlying diseases and the illness severity is higher than in healthy children.


Children; hospitalization; respiratory syncytial virus; special populations

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