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Muhammad Qasim Khan
Kiramat Ullah
Muhammad Suleman
Mohammad Khalid Khan
Mohammad Ali Khan
Khateeb Shah


Bronchiolitis, Respiratory syncytial virus, risk factors, epidemiology


Background and Aim: Bronchiolitis stands as a prominent reason for hospitalization globally among children under the age of 2 years. Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection is responsible for the onset of the disease, leading to breathing difficulties and, in severe cases, respiratory failure. The present study aimed to determine the epidemiological and risk factors analysis of children with bronchiolitis admitted to NICU.

Patients and Methods: This retrospective study was carried out on 216 children diagnosed of bronchiolitis in the Pediatric Department of Mardan Medical Complex, Mardan from January 2020 to December 2022. Children aged six years or younger who had been diagnosed with bronchiolitis were enrolled. Respiratory viruses were identified using multiplex polymerase chain reaction. 

Results: Of the total 216 children, there were 156 (72.2%) male and 60 (27.8%) female. Among all patients, those under 6 months old contributed the most accounted for 56.5% (n=122) of the total, while 38 (17.6%) individuals experienced severe disease. The primary cause for hospital admissions was wheezing, accounting for 146 (67.6%) cases. All patients displayed typical symptoms of acute bronchiolitis, including cough, rapid breathing (tachypnea), and a runny nose. The incidence of bronchiolitis cases rose during the winter-spring season. Every patient revealed bronchiolitis-related abnormalities on chest X-rays, and 76 individuals (35.2%) displayed air trapping in their lungs. Several risk factors, including age (≤6 months), preterm birth, early weaning, low birth weight, and exposure to cigarette smoke, were associated with an increased possibility of developing severe disease.

Conclusion: The study observed that bronchiolitis remains a prominent cause of admission to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). Also, age, exposure to cigarette smoking, preterm birth, low birth weight, undergoing cesarean section, history of mechanical ventilation, breastfeeding <6 months, and substandard living conditions are different risk factors associated with severe bronchiolitis caused by RSV.


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