Stability and predictiveness of multiple trigger and episodic viral wheeze in preschoolers

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Abstract

Background

In 2008, the European Respiratory Society Task Force proposed the terms multiple-trigger wheeze (MTW) and episodic (viral) wheeze (EVW) for children with wheezing episodes. We determined MTW and EVW prevalence, their 24-month stability and predictiveness for asthma.

Methods

In total, 565 preschoolers (1-, 2- and 3-year-olds) in primary care with respiratory symptoms were followed until the age of 6 years when asthma was diagnosed. MTW status and EVW status were determined using questionnaire data collected at baseline and after one and 2 years. We distinguished 3 phenotypes and determined their 24-month stability, also accounting for treatment with inhaled corticosteroids (ICS). Logistic regression was used to analyse the phenotypes’ associations with asthma.

Results

Two hundred and eighty-one children had complete information. MTW and EVW were stable in 10 of 281 (3.6%) and 24 of 281 (8.5%), respectively. The odds of developing asthma for children with stable MTW and stable EVW were 14.4 (1.7–119) and 3.6 (1.2–11.3) times greater than those for children free of wheeze (for at least 1 year). ICS was associated with increased stability of MTW and EVW.

Conclusions

Stable multiple-trigger and stable episodic viral wheeze are relatively uncommon. However, 1- to 3-year-olds with stable MTW are at much increased risk of asthma.

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