Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) bronchiolitis is a very common infection in infants and, after the acute phase, a number of patients develop a reactive airway disease that lasts for years. Although the pathogenesis of the lung damage after RSV bronchiolitis is still largely unknown, previous studies suggest that leukotrienes may play an active part in it. The aim of this study was to measure leukotriene levels in the nasal lavage fluid (NLF) collected in infants during RSV bronchiolitis and 1 month later. Cysteinyl leukotrienes (Cys-LTs) and leukotriene B(4) (LTB(4)) were measured in the NLF of 22 infants with their first episode of RSV bronchiolitis and 16 healthy infants. A second NLF sample was collected to measure leukotriene levels 1 month after the acute disease. NLF Cys-LT levels were significantly higher in infants with RSV bronchiolitis than in healthy controls [950 pg/ml (285.5-2155.9) vs. 110.5 pg/ml (66.5-451.3), p = 0.01], and they remained so a month after the acute infection (p = 0.02). A subanalysis showed no difference in Cys-LTs concentrations, either between bronchiolitis infants with and without a family history of atopy, or between those with and without passive exposure to cigarette smoke. No significant difference was found between the LTB(4) levels measured in the bronchiolitis cases and the control children. Cys-LTs are significantly increased in the NLF of infants with acute RSV bronchiolitis, and remain so at 1-month follow-up, suggesting a possible role of these eicosanoids in the pathogenesis of the disease.