Clinica Pediatrica, IRCCS “Burlo Garofolo”, Trieste
Key words: Wheezing, Wheezing bronchitis, Epidemiology
The article provides an overview of the clinical and epidemiological features of wheezing in the first years of life, with specific attention paid to prognostic aspects. Wheezing bronchitis is triggered by viral infections, Mycoplasma pneumoniae and Chlamydia being responsible for 5% of cases, mostly in older children. In the majority of cases, wheezing episodes disappear by early school years. In about 20% of children, acute episodes are followed by bronchial inflammation, symptoms became more severe and bronchial remodelling may occur. Risk factors are positive family history, atopic dermatitis, positivity to cutaneous prick tests for pneumo-allergens and wheezing outside acute episodes. Inhaled steroids are not effective in preventing the recurrence of wheezing bronchitis, although they may be useful in allergic subjects who are symptomatic beyond the acute episodes.
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