Acute bronchiolitis in infants, a review

Scand J Trauma Resusc Emerg Med. 2014 Apr 3;22:23. doi: 10.1186/1757-7241-22-23.


Acute viral bronchiolitis is one of the most common medical emergency situations in infancy, and physicians caring for acutely ill children will regularly be faced with this condition. In this article we present a summary of the epidemiology, pathophysiology and diagnosis, and focus on guidelines for the treatment of bronchiolitis in infants. The cornerstones of the management of viral bronchiolitis are the administration of oxygen and appropriate fluid therapy, and overall a "minimal handling approach" is recommended. Inhaled adrenaline is commonly used in some countries, but the evidences are sparse. Recently, inhalation with hypertonic saline has been suggested as an optional treatment. When medical treatment fails to stabilize the infants, non-invasive and invasive ventilation may be necessary to prevent and support respiratory failure. It is important that relevant treatment algorithms exist, applicable to all levels of the treatment chain and reflecting local considerations and circumstances.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Bronchiolitis / therapy*
  • Disease Management*
  • Humans
  • Infant