Nebulized Hypertonic Saline for Bronchiolitis

2014-07-24 14:18:46 | BioPortfolio


This study aims to examine the effect of nebulized 3% hypertonic saline in the treatment of viral bronchiolitis. The investigators hypothesize that nebulized 3% saline will decrease rate of hospital admission, decrease clinical severity scores, and decrease length of stay.


Bronchiolitis is the most common viral respiratory infection in young children and infants. It is responsible for hundreds of thousands of outpatient visits and hospitalizations every year. Hypertonic saline may decrease swelling in the lung tissue, improve the patient's ability to clear secretions, and decrease nasal congestion. Hypertonic saline nebulizations have already been used effectively in patients with cystic fibrosis and in a few small trials on infants with bronchiolitis. Patients who come to the emergency department or inpatient ward of two urban free-standing pediatric hospitals in California between December and April and are diagnosed with bronchiolitis will be randomized into two groups- the control group will receive nebulized 0.9% normal saline, while the study group will receive nebulized 3% hypertonic saline. Nebulizations will be pretreated with albuterol, to prevent the theoretical risk of increased wheezing in patients with undiagnosed underlying asthma. Patients will be given up to 3 nebulizations in the emergency department, after which time the attending physician will decide whether admission to the hospital is required. Patients who are admitted will continue to receive the same nebulized treatment every 8 hours until discharged. Additional interventions such as epinephrine treatments and antibiotics can be ordered as indicated by the patient care team.

Investigators will measure symptom severity before and after treatments using the respiratory distress assessment instrument (RDAI). We will compare rates of being admitted to the hospital in each group. We will also compare RDAI scores, average length of stay, number of additional respiratory treatments needed, number of hours requiring oxygen, amount of IV fluid needed, and frequency of adverse effects. We hypothesize that nebulized hypertonic saline will be a safe, cost-effective, and efficacious therapy which can be utilized in the outpatient setting to prevent hospital admission, as well as decrease length of stay for patients who require admission. Given the significant disease burden of viral bronchiolitis, the potential impact is substantial.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Control: Placebo Control, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Caregiver, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor), Primary Purpose: Treatment




Nebulized 3% saline, Placebo


Childrens Hospital Los Angeles
Los Angeles
United States




Children's Hospital Los Angeles

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-07-24T14:18:46-0400

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