Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infections are characterized by upper or lower respiratory tract symptoms including bronchiolitis and pneumonia. Apnoea may be the first sign of disease in children with RSV infection. The aims of this study were the identification of independent risk factors for RSV associated apnoea and the prediction of the risk for mechanical ventilation in children with RSV associated apnoea. Medical records of children younger than 12 months of age admitted with RSV infection between 1992 and 1995 to the Sophia Children's Hospital, were reviewed. Demographic parameters, clinical features and laboratory parameters (SaO2, pCO2 and pH) were obtained upon admission and during hospitalization. Children with and without apnoea were compared using univariate and multivariate logistic and linear regression analysis. One hundred and eighty-five patients with RSV infection were admitted of whom 38 (21%) presented with apnoea. Patients with apnoea were significantly younger, had a significantly lower temperature, higher pCO2 and lower pH and had on chest radiographs also more signs of atelectasis. The number of patients admitted to the ICU because of mechanical ventilation and oxygen administration was significantly higher in children with RSV associated apnoea. Apnoea at admission was a strong predictor for recurrent apnoea. The relative risk for mechanical ventilation increased with the number of episodes of apnoea: 2.4 (95% CI 0.8 - 6.6) in children with one episode of apnoea (at admission) versus 6.5 (95% CI 3.3 - 12.9) in children with recurrent episodes of apnoea.

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Keywords Apnoea, Mechanical ventilation, Reccurent apnoea, Respiratory syncytial virus, Risk factor
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Journal European Journal of Pediatrics
Kneyber, M.C.J, Brandenburg, A.H, de Groot, R, Joosten, K.F.M, Rothbarth, Ph.H, Ott, A, & Moll, H.A. (1998). Risk factors for respiratory syncytial virus associated apnoea. European Journal of Pediatrics, 157(4), 331–335. doi:10.1007/s004310050822