Document Detail

A single versus multiple doses of dexamethasone in infants wheezing for the first time.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18668692     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
RATIONALE: Corticosteroid therapy is not routinely recommended in true bronchiolitis. However, since bronchiolitis and the first asthma attack are impossible to distinguish, some infants with the first wheezing episode receive corticosteroids. Optimal duration of corticosteroid therapy in this scenario is unknown. This study compared efficacy of multiple administrations and a single dose of dexamethasone in bronchiolitis. METHODS: In this randomized double blind trial, previously healthy outpatients 2-23 months of age with bronchiolitis and Respiratory Disease Assessment Instrument (RDAI) score 6 or more received 1 mg/kg of oral dexamethasone in the Emergency Department. Prior to discharge at 4 hr they were randomized to either 4 daily doses of dexamethasone 0.15 mg/kg or placebo equivalent. Primary outcome was the proportion of subsequent hospitalizations or prescribed trials of bronchodilator/corticosteroid therapy for dyspnea by day 6 in the groups. Secondary outcomes were changes in the RDAI to day 6, and proportions with unscheduled visits by days 6 and 28. RESULTS: The rate of primary outcome in the single dose group (SDG, N = 64) was 9/64 or 14.1% versus 7/61 or 11.5% in the multiple dose group (MDG, N = 61) [95% CI 0.09; 0.14]. Twelve (18.8%) children in the SDG had unscheduled medical visits by day 6 versus 11 (18.0%) children in the MDG [95% CI 0.13; 0.14]. On day 6 the RDAI decreased from 9.5 +/- 2.1 to 2.1 +/- 2.4 in the SDG and from 9.8 +/- 2.2 to 1.6 +/- 2.3 in the MDG [95% CI 0.36; 2.06]. Between days 7-28, 24/64 (37.5%) SDG infants returned for care versus 20/61 (32.8%) of the MDG [95% CI 0.12; 0.21]. CONCLUSIONS: Our study suggests that, in outpatients with bronchiolitis who receive dexamethasone, continuation of this agent beyond the initial dose does not provide significant benefit.
Suzanne Schuh; Allan L Coates; Paul Dick; Derek Stephens; Amina Lalani; Erika Nicota; Matthew Mokanski; Svetlana Khaikin; Upton Allen
Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article; Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Pediatric pulmonology     Volume:  43     ISSN:  1099-0496     ISO Abbreviation:  Pediatr. Pulmonol.     Publication Date:  2008 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-09-01     Completed Date:  2009-02-24     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8510590     Medline TA:  Pediatr Pulmonol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  844-50     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
(c) 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Pediatric Emergency Medicine, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, ON, Canada.
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MeSH Terms
Bronchiolitis / drug therapy*
Dexamethasone / administration & dosage*
Double-Blind Method
Glucocorticoids / administration & dosage*
Respiratory Sounds / drug effects*
Time Factors
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Glucocorticoids; 50-02-2/Dexamethasone

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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