JOURNAL ARTICLE

Brief Resolved Unexplained Events (Formerly Apparent Life-Threatening Events) and Evaluation of Lower-Risk Infants

Joel S Tieder, Joshua L Bonkowsky, Ruth A Etzel, Wayne H Franklin, David A Gremse, Bruce Herman, Eliot S Katz, Leonard R Krilov, J Lawrence Merritt, Chuck Norlin, Jack Percelay, Robert E Sapién, Richard N Shiffman, Michael B H Smith
Pediatrics 2016, 137 (5)
27244835
This is the first clinical practice guideline from the American Academy of Pediatrics that specifically applies to patients who have experienced an apparent life-threatening event (ALTE). This clinical practice guideline has 3 objectives. First, it recommends the replacement of the term ALTE with a new term, brief resolved unexplained event (BRUE). Second, it provides an approach to patient evaluation that is based on the risk that the infant will have a repeat event or has a serious underlying disorder. Finally, it provides management recommendations, or key action statements, for lower-risk infants. The term BRUE is defined as an event occurring in an infant younger than 1 year when the observer reports a sudden, brief, and now resolved episode of ≥1 of the following: (1) cyanosis or pallor; (2) absent, decreased, or irregular breathing; (3) marked change in tone (hyper- or hypotonia); and (4) altered level of responsiveness. A BRUE is diagnosed only when there is no explanation for a qualifying event after conducting an appropriate history and physical examination. By using this definition and framework, infants younger than 1 year who present with a BRUE are categorized either as (1) a lower-risk patient on the basis of history and physical examination for whom evidence-based recommendations for evaluation and management are offered or (2) a higher-risk patient whose history and physical examination suggest the need for further investigation and treatment but for whom recommendations are not offered. This clinical practice guideline is intended to foster a patient- and family-centered approach to care, reduce unnecessary and costly medical interventions, improve patient outcomes, support implementation, and provide direction for future research. Each key action statement indicates a level of evidence, the benefit-harm relationship, and the strength of recommendation.

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