Sharing features of uncommon respiratory syncytial virus complications in infants

Marco Piastra, Elena Caresta, Alessia Tempera, Arianna Langer, Giulia Zorzi, Silvia Pulitanò, Antonio Chiaretti, Orazio Genovese, Luigi Viola, Luca Tortorolo, Giancarlo Polidori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We describe 4 nonconsecutive cases of infants admitted to Catholic University pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) because of complicated respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection during winter RSV outbreaks from the year 2000 to the year 2003. A hyponatremic epileptic status (as in the first case) has been reported by several authors as a rare RSV complication, potentially leading to death. The second infant developed a serious pulmonary edema after a subglottic obstruction (croup) associated with RSV infection. The remaining 2 infants developed a pneumothorax and subcutaneous emphysema while breathing spontaneously during an RSV bronchiolitis. In all infants, a full recovery and PICU discharge was achieved despite the need for mechanical ventilation in cases 1 and 2. Increased intrapleural negative pressure or its combination with hypoxia/hypercapnia has been suggested as the common factor possibly joining these different clinical pictures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)574-578
Number of pages5
JournalPediatric emergency care
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Acute respiratory failure
  • Air leak syndromes
  • Bronchiolitis
  • Hyponatremia
  • Negative pressure pulmonary edema
  • RSV
  • Status epilepticus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Emergency Medicine


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