Thirty-three infants with predisposing conditions and/or severely symptomatic with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection were treated with aerosolized ribavirin during a 12-week period at Oklahoma Children’s Memorial Hospital. These patients were compared with 97 untreated patients with RSV infection hospitalized during the same epidemic. Despite preconditions which selected for a more seriously ill treatment group, patients who received ribavirin showed prompter resolution of the illness than did untreated controls. Greatest clinical improvement in treated patients occurred between the first and second days of ribavirin therapy; mean ribavirin treatment duration was 4.5 days. Ten of 22 ribavirin-treated patients continued to excrete RSV after conclusion of antiviral therapy. No adverse hematologic, renal or metabolic effects occurred with ribavirin therapy. Our experience with ribavirin therapy during a major epidemic confirms and extends the results of previous controlled evaluations demonstrating this treatment safe and effective in high risk and seriously ill infants with RSV bronchiolitis and bronchopneumonia.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Microbiology (medical)
- Infectious Diseases