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Ann Thorac Med. 2018 Oct-Dec;13(4):230-236. doi: 10.4103/atm.ATM_291_17.

Clinical characteristics and outcomes of human rhinovirus positivity in hospitalized children.

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Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital, Minneapolis, MN, USA.
Paediatric and Child Health Research Group, Malawi-Liverpool Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Programme, Blantyre, Malawi.
Biostatistical Design and Analysis Center, Clinical and Translational Science Institute, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA.



The clinical relevance of positive human rhinovirus (HRV) in hospitalized patients is unclear. Our objective was to describe the clinical characteristics and outcomes of HRV positivity in a heterogeneous population of hospitalized children, compared to those positive for another respiratory virus and those where no respiratory virus was detected.


A retrospective case-control study of children hospitalized between January 2014 to April 2015 who had a respiratory viral specimen collected. Clinical and laboratory data were collected, and baseline characteristics and clinical variables were compared.


During the study period, there were 671 specimens obtained from 577 patients that were processed for the respiratory viral polymerase chain reaction assay, of which 198 were positive for HRV, 167 positive for another respiratory virus, and 306 where no respiratory virus was detected. A history of asthma was significantly associated with HRV-positive patients (odds ratio [OR] 3.71; P < 0.001). On multivariate analysis, HRV-positive patients had a higher requirement for mechanical ventilation (OR 1.44), lower rates of readmission (OR 0.53), and lower mortality (OR 0.35) compared to patients with no respiratory virus isolated; however, none were statistically significant. HRV-positive patients did have a significantly shorter length of stay (LOS) compared with patients with no respiratory virus isolated (difference-0.35; P = 0.001). Similar outcomes were seen in patients positive for other respiratory viruses.


HRV-positive hospitalized pediatric patients with a heterogeneous set of clinical diagnoses had higher association with asthma compared to patients who had another, or no, respiratory virus isolated. HRV-positive patients had shorter LOS compared to patients who had no respiratory viruses isolated. These findings suggest that HRV positivity in hospitalized pediatric patients may not lead to adverse clinical outcomes, although asthma is a risk factor regardless of clinical comorbidities and diagnoses. Further research is warranted to understand the predisposition of asthma to HRV positivity.


Children; comorbidity; diagnostics; hospitalization; respiratory virus; severity

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