Hospitalization for Respiratory Syncytial Virus in Children with Down Syndrome Less than 2 Years of Age: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
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OBJECTIVES: To compare the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)-related hospitalization rate, hospital length of stay (LOS), and need for assisted ventilation in children aged <2 years with Down syndrome and those without Down syndrome. STUDY DESIGN: MEDLINE, Embase, and CINAHL databases were searched from inception up to December 2017. Studies that provided data on RSV-related hospitalization in children aged <2 years with Down syndrome and those without Down syndrome were included. Data were independently extracted in pairs by 2 reviewers and synthesized with random-effects meta-analysis. RESULTS: In 10 studies including a total of 1 748 209 children, 12.6% of the children with Down syndrome (491 of 3882) were hospitalized with RSV infection. The presence of Down syndrome was associated with a significantly higher risk of RSV-related hospitalization (relative risk [RR], 6.06; 95% CI, 4.93-7.45; I2 = 65%; Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation [GRADE], moderate). RSV-related LOS (mean difference, 2.11 days; 95% CI, 1.47-2.75 days; I2 = 0%; GRADE, low), and the need for assisted ventilation (RR, 5.82; 95% CI, 1.81-18.69; I2 = 84%; GRADE, low). Children with Down syndrome without congenital heart disease (RR, 6.31; 95% CI, 4.83-8.23; GRADE, moderate) also had a significantly higher risk of RSV-related hospitalization. The risk of RSV-related hospitalization remained significant in the subgroup of children aged <1 year (RR, 6.25; 95% CI, 4.71-8.28; GRADE, high). CONCLUSION: RSV-related hospitalization, hospital LOS, and the need for assisted ventilation are significantly higher in children with Down syndrome aged <2 years compared with those without Down syndrome. The results should prompt reconsideration of the need for routine RSV prophylaxis in children with Down syndrome up to 2 years of age.