This paper reviews the results from a cohort study in which 47 children hospitalised with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) bronchiolitis and their 93 controls, matched for age, sex and place of living, were prospectively followed-up at the mean ages of 1, 3 and 7.5. Asthma was significantly more common in the RSV bronchiolitis group at all times. Asthma during the year prior to follow-up at age 7.5 was seen in 23% of the RSV children and in 2% of the controls (P < 0.001). Allergic sensitisation was found in 41% of the RSV children and in 22% of the controls (P = 0.039). When comparing these results with findings from other studies it is obvious that the rate of asthma and other bronchial obstructive symptoms are increased after RSV bronchiolitis but the various results concerning allergic sensitisation are not conclusive. Prospective studies are needed with some kind of randomised intervention against RSV before the mechanisms behind the post-bronchiolitic symptoms and the possibly increased risk for IgE mediated allergy can be settled.
Copyright 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd.