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Objectives. Although recent evidence suggests that management of viral bronchiolitis requires something other than guidelines-guided therapy, there is a lack of evidence supporting the economic benefits of phenotypic-guided bronchodilator therapy for treating this disease. The aim of the present study was to compare the cost-effectiveness of phenotypic-guided versus guidelines-guided bronchodilator therapy in infants with viral bronchiolitis. Methods: A decision‐analysis model was developed in order to compare the cost-effectiveness of phenotypic-guided versus guidelines-guided bronchodilator therapy in infants with viral bronchiolitis. The effectiveness parameters and costs of the model were obtained from electronic medical records. The main outcome was avoidance of hospital admission after initial care in the ED. Results: Compared to guidelines-guided strategy, treating patients with viral bronchiolitis with the phenotypic-guided bronchodilator therapy strategy was associated with lower total costs (US$250.99 vs US$263.46 average cost per patient) and a higher probability of avoidance of hospital admission (0.7902 vs 0.7638), thus leading to dominance. Results were robust to deterministic and probabilistic sensitivity analyses. Conclusions: Compared to guidelines-guided strategy, treating infants with viral bronchiolitis using the phenotypic-guided bronchodilator therapy strategy is a more cost-effective strategy, because it involves a lower probability of hospital admission at lower total treatment costs.
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International guidelines have recommended the use of inhaled beta-2 agonists and systemic corticosteroids (SC) as the first-line treatment for acute asthma. Objective: To evaluate the evidence for the efficacy of inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) in addition to SC compared to SC alone in children with acute asthma in the ED or during hospitalization. Data sources: Five electronic databases were searched. Study Selection: All RCTs that compared ICS (via nebulizer or metered dose inhaler) plus SC (oral or parenteral) with placebo (or standard care) plus SC were included without language restriction. Data extraction: Two reviewers independently reviewed all studies. The primary outcomes were hospital admission or hospital length of stay [LOS], and secondary outcomes were readmissions during follow-up, ED-LOS, lung function, asthma clinical score, oxygen saturation, and heart and respiratory rates. Results: Nine studies (n=1473) met the inclusion criteria. In all the studies, the ICS was budesonide. Compared to SC alone, adding budesonide to SC did not affect hospitalization rate, but decreased hospital LOS by more than one day (MD= -29.08 hours [-39.9 to -18.3]; I2=0%, p=<0.00001). Moreover, adding budesonide (especially with ≥2mg doses) significantly improved the acute asthma severity score among patients at ED. Conclusions: Compared to SC alone, adding budesonide to SC did not affect hospitalization rate, but decreases the LOS and improves the acute asthma score in children at ED setting.
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Rationale: Whether asthma constitutes a risk factor for COVID-19 is unclear. Here we aimed to assess whether asthma, the most common chronic disease in children, is a risk factor for COVID-19 in pediatric populations. Methods: We performed a systematic literature search in three stages: First, we reviewed PubMed, EMBASE and CINAHL for systematic reviews of SARS-CoC-2 and COVID-19 in pediatric populations, and reviewed their primary articles; second, we searched PubMed for studies on COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2 and asthma/wheeze, and evaluated whether the resulting studies included pediatric populations; third, we repeated the second search in BioRxiv.org and MedRxiv.org to find pre-prints that may have information on pediatric asthma. Results: In the first search, eight systematic reviews were found, of which five were done in pediatric population; after reviewing 67 primary studies we found no data on pediatric asthma as a comorbidity for COVID-19. In the second search, we found 34 results in PubMed, of which five reported asthma in adults, but none included data on children. In the third search, 23 pre-prints in MedRxiv were identified with data on asthma, but again none with pediatric data. We found only one report by the U.S. CDC stating that 40/345 (~11.5%) children with data on chronic conditions had “chronic lung diseases including asthma”. Conclusion: There is scarcely any data on whether childhood asthma (or other pediatric respiratory diseases) constitute risk factors for SARS-CoV-2 infection or COVID-19 severity. Studies are needed that go beyond counting the number of cases in the pediatric age range.