Respiratory syncytial virus prophylaxis in infants with congenital airway anomalies compared to standard indications and complex medical disorders Academic Article uri icon

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  • An observational study was conducted of children < 2 years who received ≥ 1 dose of palivizumab in 32 Canadian institutions from 2005 to 2017. We compared respiratory illness (RIH) and respiratory syncytial virus-related hospitalization (RSVH) hazards in children with a congenital airway anomaly (CAA) versus those prophylaxed for standard indications (SI) and serious medical disorders (SMD). Data were assembled on neonatal course, demographics, palivizumab utilization and adherence, and respiratory illness events, and analyzed using ANOVA, chi-square tests and Cox proportional hazards. Twenty-five thousand three children (1219 CAA, 3538 SMD, and 20,246 SI) were enrolled. Palivizumab adherence was 74.8% overall and similar across groups. For 2054 respiratory-related events, 1724 children were hospitalized. RIH rates were 13.6% (CAA), 9.6% (SMD), and 6.0% (SI). RSVH rates were 2.4% (CAA), 1.6% (SMD), and 1.5% (SI). After adjustment for demographic and neonatal differences, children with a CAA had a significantly increased RIH and RSVH hazard relative to SI (RIH, HR = 1.6, 95% CI 1.2-2.2, p = 0.002; RSVH, HR = 2.1, 95% CI 1.0-4.4, p = 0.037) but similar to SMD (RIH, HR = 1.3, 95% CI 0.9-1.9, p = 0.190; RSVH, HR = 1.7, 95% CI 0.7-4.1, p = 0.277).Conclusion: Children with a CAA experience higher RIH risk. RSVH hazard was similar between CAA and SMD but higher for CAA compared to SI, implying that this population requires surveillance for RSV prophylaxis. What is Known: • Children with congenital airway anomalies (CAA) are at risk for respiratory tract illness and respiratory syncytial virus-related hospitalization (RSVH) with accompanying morbidity and mortality • RSV prophylaxis may be useful in children with a CAA, but is not routinely recommended What is New: • Children with a CAA had a 1.6-2.3 fold greater risk of respiratory-related hospitalization and RSVH compared to those prophylaxed for standard, approved indications and serious medical disorders. • RSVH risk in children aged < 2 years with either upper or lower airway anomalies is similar. Children with a CAA require careful surveillance during the RSV season and prophylaxis may be appropriate.


  • Paes, Bosco
  • Kim, Doyoung
  • Saleem, Mahwesh
  • Wong, Sophie
  • Mitchell, Ian
  • Lanctot, Krista L

publication date

  • March 2019