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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 152-156

The use of C-reactive protein in predicting bacterial co-Infection in children with bronchiolitis

1 Department of Pediatrics, Makassed General Hospital, Beirut, Lebanon
2 Centre Hospitalier Régional Universitaire de Lille Hopital Jeanne de Flandre Lille, France

Correspondence Address:
Mohamad Fares
Department of Pediatrics, Makassed General Hospital, Beirut
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Background: Bronchiolitis is a potentially life-threatening respiratory illness commonly affecting children who are less than two years of age. Patients with viral lower respiratory tract infection are at risk for co-bacterial infection. Aim: The aim of our study was to evaluate the use of C-reactive protein (CRP) in predicting bacterial co-infection in patients hospitalized for bronchiolitis and to correlate the results with the use of antibiotics. Patients and Methods: This is a prospective study that included patients diagnosed with bronchiolitis admitted to Makassed General Hospital in Beirut from October 2008 to April 2009. A tracheal aspirate culture was taken from all patients with bronchiolitis on admission to the hospital. Blood was drawn to test C-reactive protein level, white cell count, transaminases level, and blood sugar level. Results: Forty-nine patients were enrolled in the study and were divided into two groups. Group 1 included patients with positive tracheal aspirate culture and Group 2 included those with negative culture. All patients with a CRP level ≥2 mg/dL have had bacterial co-infection. White cell count, transaminases and blood sugar levels were not predictive for bacterial co-infection. The presence of bacterial co-infection increased the length of hospital stay in the first group by 2 days compared to those in the second group. Conclusion: Bacterial co-infection is frequent in infants with moderate to severe bronchiolitis and requires admission. Our data showed that a CRP level greater than 1.1 mg/dL raised suspicion for bacterial co-infection. Thus, a tracheal aspirate should be investigated microbiologically in all hospitalized patients in order to avoid unnecessary antimicrobial therapy and to shorten the duration of the hospital stay.

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