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Ann Trop Paediatr. 1995;15(1):77-84.

The role of bronchodilators in the management of bronchiolitis: a clinical trial.

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Department of Paediatrics, Suleimania Children's Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.


A randomized clinical trial was conducted on young children with bronchiolitis admitted to hospital with moderate illness to determine the efficacy of the bronchodilators Salbutamol and ipratropium bromide, either as a single drug or in combination, given as a nebulized solution, compared with a normal saline placebo. Eighty-nine patients, aged from 23 days to 11 months, were randomized into four groups, depending on administered drug or placebo, as follows: group 1--Salbutamol (n = 20); group 2--ipratropium bromide (n = 23); group 3--combined Salbutamol and Ipratropium bromide (n = 24); group 4--normal saline (n = 22). The groups were identical with respect to age, sex, family history of atopy, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) positivity and enrollment score. They were scored using the clinical parameters of wheezing, retractions and respiratory rate at enrollment, at 30 and 60 minutes after the first nebulization, and after 60 minutes following completion of subsequent nebulization at 6, 12, 24 and 36 hours. We did not find any significant difference in the rate of improvement and the final score (p = 0.49) in the four groups. The same finding was also noted in children aged more than 3 months (p = 0.35) and in those positive for RSV infection (p = 0.18). The lengths of hospitalization in the four groups were also similar (p = 0.79). It is concluded that there is no role for the nebulized bronchodilators Salbutamol and Ipratropium bromide, either as a single agent or in combination, compared with normal saline placebo in treating young children in hospital with bronchiolitis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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