Clinical course and outcome of children with status asthmaticus treated in a pediatric intensive care unit: a 15-year review

J Microbiol Immunol Infect. 2009 Dec;42(6):488-93.


Background and purpose: The purpose of this study was to analyze the clinical course and outcomes of children with status asthmaticus treated in a pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) in Taiwan.

Methods: The medical charts of all patients aged from 2 to 18 years with status asthmaticus who were admitted to the PICU National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan, from 1990 to 2006 were reviewed retrospectively.

Results: Twenty eight children were admitted on 33 occasions; 4 patients had more than 1 admission. The mean age was 6.23 years (range, 2-17 years). No control medication was regularly used prior to admission for 81.8% of the episodes. The mean PICU stay was 2.55 days (range, 1-13 days) and, for 78.8% of episodes, the patients were discharged from the ICU within 2 days. For 11 episodes (33.3%), the patients required mechanical ventilation for a mean duration of 3.6 days. The mortality rate was 3.3% (n = 1). Complications included bronchopneumonia (57.6%), hemodynamic compromise (9.1%), neurologic symptoms (6.1%), and air leak (3.3%). Patients requiring mechanical ventilation had significantly lower initial pulse oximeter oxygen saturation (<90%), lower blood gas pH (<7.25), higher partial pressure of carbon dioxide, and longer duration of PICU and hospital stay (p < 0.05) when compared with patients not requiring mechanical ventilation. For patients with a history of repeated PICU admissions for asthma, the intubation rate was 77.7%.

Conclusions: The prognosis for childhood status asthmaticus is favorable. The most common trigger factors were respiratory tract infection and poor asthma control.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units, Pediatric / statistics & numerical data
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Recurrence
  • Respiration, Artificial
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Seasons
  • Sex Factors
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Status Asthmaticus / epidemiology
  • Status Asthmaticus / etiology
  • Status Asthmaticus / mortality
  • Status Asthmaticus / therapy*
  • Taiwan / epidemiology
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents