Viral bronchiolitis is a common clinical syndrome affecting infants and young children. Concern about its associated morbidity and cost has led to a large body of research that has been summarised in systematic reviews and integrated into clinical practice guidelines in several countries. The evidence and guideline recommendations consistently support a clinical diagnosis with the limited role for diagnostic testing for children presenting with the typical clinical syndrome of viral upper respiratory infection progressing to the lower respiratory tract. Management is largely supportive, focusing on maintaining oxygenation and hydration of the patient. Evidence suggests no benefit from bronchodilator or corticosteroid use in infants with a first episode of bronchiolitis. Evidence for other treatments such as hypertonic saline is evolving but not clearly defined yet. For infants with severe disease, the insufficient available data suggest a role for high-flow nasal cannula and continuous positive airway pressure use in a monitored setting to prevent respiratory failure.
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