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Risk factors for the development of bronchiolitis obliterans in children with bronchiolitis
  1. A J Colom1,
  2. A M Teper1,
  3. W M Vollmer2,
  4. G B Diette3
  1. 1Respiratory Center, R. Gutiérrez Children’s Hospital, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  2. 2Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, Portland, Oregon, USA
  3. 3Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr A J Colom
    España 880, San Miguel (1663), Buenos Aires, Argentina; Acolor{at}


Background: Bronchiolitis obliterans (BO) is an uncommon and severe form of chronic obstructive lung disease in children that results from an insult to the lower respiratory tract.

Methods: A case-control study of children under the age of 3 years was performed in 109 cases and 99 controls to determine risk factors for the development of BO. Participants were evaluated by immunofluorescence viral tests, pulmonary function tests, and questions to assess tobacco and other exposures.

Results: Bronchiolitis due to adenovirus (odds ratio (OR) 49, 95% confidence interval (CI) 12 to 199) and the need for mechanical ventilation (OR 11, 95% CI 2.6 to 45) were strongly and independently associated with an increased risk for BO. Factors not associated with post-infectious BO included age of the child, sex, and environmental tobacco exposure (either in utero or during infancy).

Conclusions: Adenovirus infection and need for mechanical ventilation are significant risk factors for developing BO in children. Further research is needed to determine why these risk factors are so strong and how they may contribute to the development of the disease.

  • AV, adenovirus
  • BO, bronchiolitis obliterans
  • ETS, environmental tobacco smoke
  • PFT, pulmonary function test
  • RSV, respiratory syncytial virus
  • V′maxFRC, maximal flow at functional residual capacity
  • adenovirus infections
  • lung function tests
  • respiratory insufficiency
  • bronchiolitis obliterans
  • mechanical ventilation
  • infants

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