Armando Hasudungan
Biology and Medicine videos

Bronchiolitis

Bronchiolitis

Summary

Watch: Bronchiolitis Overview

Overview

Overview Bronchiolitis is often a viral cause mainly Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). Bronchiolitis is the most common respiratory tract infection of neonates and is usually self-limiting. A major source of confusion of treatment is differentiating a viral bronchiolitis to asthma. In summary bronchiolitis is usually seen in infants <2yo. Asthma is seen in older children.

Overview

 

Respiratory Physiology

 

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Watch Mechanism of respiration

Risk Factors

Risk factors for severe bronchiolitis

  • Young, especially < 6weeks
  • Ex-premature infants
  • Congenital Heart disease
  • Neurological conditions
  • Chronic respiratory illness
  • Pulmonary hypertension
Side note Exclusive breastfeeding for at least 6 months is recommended to decrease the morbidity of respiratory infections.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Nasal obstruction +/- rhinorrhea
  • Apnoea
  • Irritating cough
  • Tachypnoea
  • Respiratory distress
  • Fever
  • Poor feeding

Examination

  • Auscultation (variable): fine inspiratory crackles, expiratory wheeze
  • Fever
  • Decreased oxygen saturation
  • Signs of dehydration

Diagnosis Clinical Diagnosis

Sands

Clinical Presentation Nasal obstruction +/- rhinorrhea and an irritating cough are usually noticed first. After one to three days there follows increasing tachypnoea and respiratory distress. The chest is often overexpanded.

 

Classification

Mild bronchiolitis

  • Manage at home
  • little or no respiratory distress
  • SaO2 >95%

Moderate bronchiolitis

  • admit to hospital
  • Increased work of breathing, chest wall retraction, nasal flaring
  • Decreased feeding
  • SaO2 90-95%

Severe bronchiolitis

  • Usually require transfer to a tertiary paediatric ICU
  • Moderate to serve respiratory distress, with marked chest wall retraction, nasal flaring and grunting
  • Very poor feeding, feeding may worsen the cough, tachycardia
  • SaO2 >90% room air, or <92 with O2 therapy

High Risk Group

  • Infants with chronic lung disease
  • infants with congenital heart disease
  • Premature or low-weight for gestation age
  • Full-term infants up to three months of age

Differential Diagnosis

  • Acute asthma, associated with viral LRTI
  • Pneumonia
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Pertussis
  • Pneumothorax
  • Bronchial foreign body

Investigations

In most children with bronchiolitis no investigations are required unless severe.

  • PCR for RSV
  • Chest X-Ray – hyperinflation
  • Blood gases – Oxygen status
  • Full Blood Count – signs of infection

Ix

Aetiology

Winter Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)

Others

  • Mycoplasma
  • Parainfluenza
  • Adenovirus

Pathophysiology

Pathophys

An RSV infection begins with replication of the virus in the nasopharynx. The virus spreads to the small bronchiolar epithelium lining the small airways within the lungs, and a lower respiratory tract infection can begin in one to three days. If a lower respiratory tract infection occurs, it causes edema, increased mucus production, and eventual necrosis and regeneration of these epithelial cells. This leads to small airway obstruction, air trapping, and  increased airway resistance ()

 

Management

Oxygen if saturation drops to 95%

 

Mild bronchiolitis

  • Manage at home
  • little or no respiratory distress
  • SaO2 >95%

Moderate bronchiolitis

  • admit to hospital
  • Increased work of breathing, chest wall retraction, nasal flaring
  • Decreased feeding
  • SaO2 90-95%

Severe bronchiolitis

  • Usually require transfer to a tertiary paediatric ICU
  • Moderate to serve respiratory distress, with marked chest wall retraction, nasal flaring and grunting
  • Very poor feeding, feeding may worsen the cough, tachycardia

Fluids

  • Oral feeding OR
  • Nasogastric tube for infants with poor feeding OR
  • Intravenous fluids if previous do not work and if infant have severe bronchiolitis

Mx

Pharmacological Therapy

  • Generally no bronchodilators <6months of age
  • Corticosteroids or ipratropium only in older infants, if asthma is considered, or infants with chronic lung disease
  • Antibiotics if bacterial cause is suspected
Remember Bronchodilators (albuterol, salbutamol), epinephrine, and corticosteroids are generally not administered to infants and children with the diagnosis of bronchiolitis. Only if another condition is suspected or person is not getting better

Discharge

  • Minimal respiratory distress
  • During the recovery phase, SaO2 92 or above room air
  • Provide education, support and follow up with GP

Complication and Prognosis

Complications

  • Most resolve without complications
  • Dehydration – fluid needs, oral intake, vomiting
  • Apnoea – particularly in infants born prematurely & those <2/12, risk for respiratory failure & need for mechanical ventilation
  • Secondary bacterial infection

Prognosis 40 percent of children with bronchiolitis will develop further wheezing episodes through five years of age, and 10 percent will have wheezing episodes beyond this age.

References

Caswell, MD & Muncie, HL 2011, Repiratory Syncytial Virus Infection in Children, American Family Physician, vol. 15, no. 2, pp 141-146.
Ralston, SL, Lieberthal, AS, Meissner, HC, et al. 2014, Clinical Practice Guideline: The Diagnosis, Management, and Prevention of Bronchiolitis, vol. 123, no. 5.
Royal Children Hospital Melbourne Clinical Guidelines