Inpatient use of racemic epinephrine for children admitted with croup

Elaine Chiang, Omar Afandi, Sang Hoon Lee, Srinivasan Suresh, Raymond D. Pitetti, Sriram Ramgopal*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Pediatric patients with croup are frequently admitted if they require two doses of racemic epinephrine (RE) in the emergency department (ED). We aimed to identify factors associated with the need for additional therapy (> 2 RE doses) among pediatric patients with croup. Methods: We performed a single-center retrospective study of consecutive patients admitted from the ED with a diagnosis of croup between January 1, 2011 and December 31, 2015. Primary outcome was need for > 2 doses of RE. Secondary outcomes included time to third RE and 72-hour return visits. We performed logistic regression to identify factors associated with use of > 2 RE doses during hospitalization, and survival analysis to identify time to dosing of 3rd RE from 2nd RE. Results: Of 353 included admissions [250 (70.8%) males, median age 1.48, interquartile range 0.97–2.51 years], 106/353 (30.0%) required > 2 RE. In univariate logistic regression, only recent use of steroids within 1 day prior to presentation (4.18, 1.48–11.83; P = 0.007) was associated with need for > 2 RE. Survival from third RE was 0.74 (95% CI 0.69–0.78), which was similar to the survival at 12 hours (0.70, 95% CI 0.65–0.75). Return visits occurred in 19 (5.4%) patients, of whom 12/19 (63.2%) were given RE. Conclusions: Patients hospitalized for croup with recent use of steroids prior to ED presentation have a greater need for > 2 RE during hospitalization. The majority who require inpatient RE will do so within 8–12 hours. These data provide information for risk stratification and duration of monitoring for patients hospitalized with croup.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)586-594
Number of pages9
JournalWorld Journal of Pediatrics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019


  • Laryngotracheobronchitis
  • Racemic epinephrine
  • Spasmodic croup
  • Steroids
  • Viral croup

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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