Respiratory viruses in the pediatric intensive care unit: prevalence and clinical aspects


Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz




A survey was conducted in two pediatric intensive care units in hospitals in Porto Alegre, Brazil, in order to monitor the main respiratory viruses present in bronchiolitis and/or pneumonia and their involvement in the severity of viral respiratory infections. Viral respiratory infection prevalence was 38.7%. In bronchiolitis, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) was detected in 36% of the cases. In pneumonia, the prevalence rates were similar for adenovirus (10.3%) and RSV (7.7%). There was a difference among the viruses detected in terms of frequency of clinical findings indicating greater severity. Frequency of crackles in patients with RSV (47.3%) showed a borderline significance (p = 0.055, Fisher's exact test) as compared to those with adenovirus (87.5%). The overall case fatality rate in this study was 2.7%, and adenovirus showed a significantly higher case fatality rate (25%) than RSV (2.8%) (p = 0.005). Injected antibiotics were used in 49% of the children with RSV and 60% of those with adenovirus. Adenovirus was not detected in any of the 33 children submitted to oxygen therapy.

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