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Acta Paediatr. 1996 Jul;85(7):798-803.

Reflex apnoea response and inflammatory mediators in infants with respiratory tract infection.

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Department of Paediatrics, Aker University Hospital, Oslo, Norway.


The reflex apnoea response to water stimulation was evaluated in infants with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection and compared to the response in non-infected infants who had sustained an apparent life-threatening event (ALTE) or were siblings of infants who had died of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). RSV-infected infants had a significantly (p < 0.05) reinforced reflex apnoea response compared with non-infected infants. There was a significant negative correlation between the concentration of interleukin 1 beta (IL-I beta) in pharyngeal secretions and the duration of apnoea (p < 0.01). Increased clinical severity was, however, associated with high (> 5.000 pg ml-1) concentrations of IL-1 beta. There was no correlation between apnoea and interleukin 6. These findings may be relevant for the understanding of why apnoea may be the presenting symptom of RSV infection, and offer an explanation of why a proportion of SIDS cases has a history of mild respiratory tract symptoms prior to death.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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