Clinical Factors Associated With Chest Imaging Findings in Hospitalized Infants With Bronchiolitis

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Despite recommendations against routine imaging, chest radiography (CXR) is frequently performed on infants hospitalized for bronchiolitis. We conducted a review of 811 infants hospitalized for bronchiolitis to identify clinical factors associated with imaging findings. CXR was performed on 553 (68%) infants either on presentation or during hospitalization; 466 readings (84%) were normal or consistent with viral illness. Clinical factors significantly associated with normal/viral imaging were normal temperature (odds ratio = 1.66; 95% CI = 1.03-2.67) and normal oxygen saturation (odds ratio = 1.77; 95% CI = 1.1-2.83) on presentation. Afebrile patients with normal oxygen saturations were nearly 3 times as likely to have a normal/viral CXR as patients with both fever and hypoxia. Our findings support the limited role of radiography in the evaluation of hospitalized infants with bronchiolitis, especially patients without fever or hypoxia.

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