Nasogastric Hydration in Infants with Bronchiolitis Less Than 2 Months of Age

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To determine whether nasogastric hydration can be used in infants less than 2 months of age with bronchiolitis, and characterize the adverse events profile of these infants compared with infants given intravenous (IV) fluid hydration.

Study design

A descriptive retrospective cohort study of children with bronchiolitis under 2 months of age admitted for hydration at 3 centers over 3 bronchiolitis seasons was done. We determined type of hydration (nasogastric vs IV fluid hydration) and adverse events, intensive care unit admission, and respiratory support.


Of 491 infants under 2 months of age admitted with bronchiolitis, 211 (43%) received nonoral hydration: 146 (69%) via nasogastric hydration and 65 (31%) via IV fluid hydration. Adverse events occurred in 27.4% (nasogastric hydration) and 23.1% (IV fluid hydration), difference of 4.3%; 95%CI (−8.2 to 16.9), P = .51. The majority of adverse events were desaturations (21.9% nasogastric hydration vs 21.5% IV fluid hydration, difference 0.4%; [−11.7 to 12.4], P = .95). There were no pulmonary aspirations in either group. Apneas and bradycardias were similar in each group. IV fluid hydration use was positively associated with intensive care unit admission (38.5% IV fluid hydration vs 19.9% nasogastric hydration; difference 18.6%, [5.1-32.1], P = .004); and use of ventilation support (27.7% IV fluid hydration vs 15.1% nasogastric hydration; difference 12.6 [0.3-23], P = .03). Fewer infants changed from nasogastric hydration to IV fluid hydration than from IV fluid hydration to nasogastric hydration (12.3% vs 47.7%; difference −35.4% [−49 to −22], P < .001).


Nasogastric hydration can be used in the majority of young infants admitted with bronchiolitis. Nasogastric hydration and IV fluid hydration had similar rates of complications.

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