Published: 19 September 2012

Authors: Trenholme, A. et al.

Access online: Respiratory health outcomes 1 year after admission with severe lower respiratory tract infection


    Severe lower respiratory infection (LRI) is believed to be one precursor of protracted bacterial bronchitis, chronic moist cough (CMC), and chronic suppurative lung disease. The aim of this study was to determine and to describe the presence of respiratory morbidity in young children 1 year after being hospitalized with a severe LRI. Children aged less than 2 years admitted from August 1, 2007 to December 23, 2007 already enrolled in a prospective epidemiology study (n = 394) were included in this second study only if they had a diagnosis of severe bronchiolitis or of pneumonia with no co-morbidities (n = 237). Funding allowed 164 to be identified chronologically, 131 were able to be contacted, and 94 agreed to be assessed by a paediatrician 1 year post index admission. Demographic information, medical history and a respiratory questionnaire was recorded, examination, pulse oximetry, and chest X-ray (CXR) were performed. The predetermined primary endpoints were; (i) history of CMC for at least 3 months, (ii) the presence of moist cough and/or crackles on examination in clinic, and (iii) an abnormal CXR when seen at a time of stability. Each CXR was read by two pediatric radiologists blind to the individuals' current health. Results showed 30% had a history of CMC, 32% had a moist cough and/or crackles on examination in clinic, and in 62% of those with a CXR it was abnormal. Of the 81 children with a readable follow-up X-ray, 11% had all three abnormal outcomes, and 74% had one or more abnormal outcomes. Three children had developed bronchiectasis on HRCT. The majority of children with a hospital admission at <2 years of age for severe bronchiolitis or pneumonia continued to have respiratory morbidity 1 year later when seen at a time of stability, with a small number already having sustained significant lung disease. Pediatr Pulmonol. 2013; 48:772–779. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.