Nebulized hypertonic saline solution for acute bronchiolitis in infants
Zhang L, Mendoza-Sassi RA, Wainwright C, Klassen TP
Acute viral bronchiolitis is the most common lower respiratory tract infection in infants, but the standard treatment remains supportive care. This review was conducted to assess the effects of nebulized hypertonic saline, which can increase clearance of mucus, in these patients. Four randomized trials involving 254 infants were included. Analysis of the pooled data suggests that nebulized 3% saline may significantly reduce the length of hospital stay and improve the clinical severity score in infants with acute viral bronchiolitis.There were no adverse effects noted with nebulized hypertonic saline when administered along with bronchodilators.
This version first published online: October 08. 2008 - Cochrane review abstract.
Airway edema and mucus plugging are the predominant pathological features in infants with acute viral bronchiolitis. Nebulized hypertonic saline solution may reduce these pathological changes and decrease airway obstruction.
To assess the effects of nebulized hypertonic saline solution in infants with acute viral bronchiolitis.
We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (The Cochrane Library 2007, issue 4), which contains the Cochrane Acute Respiratory Infections Group Specialized Register; OLDMEDLINE (1951 to 1965); MEDLINE (1966 to November 2007); EMBASE (1974 to November 2007); and LILACS (November 2007).
Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and quasi-RCTs using nebulized hypertonic saline alone or in conjunction with bronchodilators as an active intervention in infants up to 24 months of age with acute bronchiolitis.
Data collection and analysis
Two review authors (ZL, MRA) independently performed data extraction and study quality assessment. We pooled the data from individual trials using the Cochrane statistical package Review Manager (RevMan).
We included four trials involving 254 infants with acute viral bronchiolitis (189 inpatients and 65 outpatients) in this review. Patients treated with nebulized 3% saline had a significantly shorter mean length of hospital stay compared to those treated with nebulized 0.9% saline (mean difference (MD) -0.94 days, 95% CI -1.48 to -0.40, P = 0.0006). The 3% saline group also had a significantly lower post-inhalation clinical score than the 0.9% saline group in the first three days of treatment (day 1: MD -0.75, 95% CI -1.38 to -0.12, P = 0.02; day 2: MD -1.18, 95% CI -1.97 to -0.39, P = 0.003; day 3: MD -1.28, 95% CI -2.57 to 0.00, P = 0.05). The effect of nebulized hypertonic saline in improving clinical score was greater among outpatients than inpatients. No adverse events related to 3% saline inhalation were reported.
Current evidence suggests nebulized 3% saline may significantly reduce the length of hospital stay and improve the clinical severity score in infants with acute viral bronchiolitis.
This is a Cochrane review abstract and plain language summary, prepared and maintained by The Cochrane Collaboration, currently published in The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2009 Issue 2, Copyright © 2009 The Cochrane Collaboration. Published by John Wiley and Sons, Ltd.. The full text of the review is available in The Cochrane Library (ISSN 1464-780X).
This record should be cited as: Zhang L, Mendoza-Sassi RA, Wainwright C, Klassen TP. Nebulized hypertonic saline solution for acute bronchiolitis in infants. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2008, Issue 4. Art. No.: CD006458. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD006458.pub2.