We performed a prospective observational study to define the clinical course and the prognostic factors of 31 patients with postinfectious bronchiolitis obliterans. All patients presented with an episode of acute bronchiolitis in the first 2 years of life, and respiratory symptoms and signs persisted since then. Other diseases which may cause chronic airflow obstruction were excluded. The patients were followed after their inclusion in the study and the clinical findings were recorded in a standardized questionnaire and form. Repeated chest radiographs and lung perfusion scans were obtained in all 31 patients and semiannual spirometry was performed in 8 older patients. Eight patients had lung biopsies. The clinical course varied in the 31 patients during a mean of 3.5 years of follow-up. The outcome of the patients included clinical remission (22.6%), persistence of respiratory symptoms and signs (67.7%), and death (9.7%). An older age at onset of illness and presence of atopy as suggested by an elevated serum IgE appeared to predispose to a poor prognosis.
Copyright 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.