Background: Our aim was to evaluate the association between viral findings during bronchiolitis and the use of asthma controller medication (primary outcome) and systemic corticosteroids (secondary outcome) during the first post-bronchiolitis year.
Methods: We enrolled 408 children hospitalized for bronchiolitis at <24 months of age in a prospective, 3-center, 1-year follow-up study in Finland. Viruses were detected with polymerase chain reaction in nasopharyngeal aspirates. The parents underwent a structured interview during hospitalization. Twelve months later, the use of asthma medication was asked in a structured questionnaire. Multivariable logistic regression was used for statistical analysis.
Results: In total, 365 (89%) children completed the 1-year follow-up. The use of long-term asthma controller medication was highest in the rhinovirus-positive group (61% vs. 15% in respiratory syncytial virus-positive group; adjusted odd ratios, 7.5; 95% confidence interval: 3.7-15.3), followed by children negative for both respiratory syncytial virus and rhinovirus (36%; adjusted odd ratios, 2.6; 95% confidence interval: 1.3-5.3). Likewise, rhinovirus etiology was associated with more courses of systemic corticosteroids during the follow-up. The main findings were similar in a subset of infants aged <12 months with first wheezing.
Conclusions: Children hospitalized for rhinovirus-positive bronchiolitis used long-term asthma controller medication more often than those hospitalized for rhinovirus-negative bronchiolitis during first year after hospitalization.