JOURNAL ARTICLE

Hospitalization for respiratory syncytial virus bronchiolitis and disease severity in twins

Miri Dotan, Liat Ashkenazi-Hoffnung, Zmira Samra, Gilat Livni, Havatzelet Yarden-Bilavsky, Jacob Amir, Efraim Bilavsky
Israel Medical Association Journal: IMAJ 2013, 15 (11): 701-4
24511652

BACKGROUND: Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common cause of lower respiratory tract disease and hospitalization in infants and young children. Infants of multiple births, who are often premature, might be more susceptible to developing a more severe RSV infection than singletons.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the impact of multiple births on the severity of RSV infection and define risk factors for acquiring RSV infection in infants of multiple birth.

METHODS: Clinical data on infants hospitalized with RSV infection between 2008 and 2010 were retrospectively collected.

RESULTS: Twins comprised 7.6% (66/875) of hospitalized infants with RSV bronchiolitis during the study period. Infants in the twin group were younger (122.4 +/- 131.7 vs. 204.5 +/- 278.8 days, P = 0.014), had a lower mean gestational age (35.3 +/- 2.6 vs. 38.6 +/- 2.5 weeks, P < 0.001), and were more likely to have been born prematurely compared with singleton infants (65.6% vs. 13%, P < 0.001). On a multivariable logistic regression analysis, young age, early gestational age and male gender were the only variables identified as risk factors for pediatric intensive care unit admission (P < 0.001, P < 0.001 and P = 0.03, respectively). In contrast, the mere fact of a child being a twin was not found to be a significant risk factor for disease severity. In addition, if one twin is hospitalized due to RSV infection, the other has a 34% chance of also being hospitalized with bronchiolitis. Young age was a significant risk factor for hospitalization of the second twin (P < 0.001) CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that twins hospitalized with RSV bronchiolitis do not have an increased risk for severe infection as compared to singletons. However, a twin of an infant hospitalized with RSV infection has a considerable risk of also being hospitalized with bronchiolitis, thus close monitoring is recommended.

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