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Pediatr Pulmonol. 2017 Sep;52(9):1234-1240. doi: 10.1002/ppul.23750. Epub 2017 Jul 3.

The heterogeneity of viral bronchiolitis: A lack of universal consensus definitions.

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Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Flinders University, Bedford Park, Australia.
Intensive and Critical Care Unit, Flinders University and Flinders Medical Centre, Bedford Park, Australia.


Viral bronchiolitis is one of the most common hospital presentations in infancy and as such represents a major healthcare burden worldwide. However despite this, there are currently no effective targeted therapies nor can those infants at highest risk for developing severe disease or subsequent respiratory morbidity be predicted on initial hospital presentation. Current definitions of bronchiolitis in the published literature vary significantly in terms of the age range at presentation, specific clinical symptoms, causative virus, and the inclusion or exclusion of infants with previous presentations and/or various comorbidities. In this review, we highlight how this heterogeneity among definitions contributes to a lack of clarity on this condition and its likely multiple endotypes. We argue that without a new universal consensus definition or sets of definitions, progress into bronchiolitis will continue to be stalled.


TB; asthma & early wheeze; bronchiolitis; immunology and immunodeficiency; infections pneumonia; lung pathology; viral

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