By: Lewis First, MD, MS; Editor-in-Chief
Over the past several years, there have been a number of articles arguing for and against nebulized hypertonic saline (HS) for symptomatic treatment of bronchiolitis with some studies demonstrating efficacy and others not. So if you combine the results of all of these studies together into one overall review of the data, what can you learn? That was the goal of Zhang et al. (REF) who looked at the efficacy and safety of nebulized hypertonic saline in bronchiolitic infants via a systematic review of randomized or quasi-randomized controlled trials.
24 trials met review criteria involving more than 3200 patients with more than 1700 getting HS. The results reflect only a moderate quality of overall evidence for reasons the authors discuss, but the bottom line may suggest that HS is a “salternative” to consider in treating your infants with this respiratory infection.
So do you use nebulized hypertonic saline on your hospitalized patients with bronchiolitis? Do you find it works? Share your thoughts with us by responding to this blog, sending us an e-letter or posting a comment on our Facebook or Twitter sites.