Efficacy of Nebulized Hypertonic Saline 3% in comparison to Nebulized Normal Saline 0.9% in Children with Acute Bronchiolitis

Document Type : Original Article


Department of Pediatrics, Damietta Faculty of Medicine; AL-Azhar University, Egypt



Background: Bronchiolitis is the most common lower respiratory tract infection in children. The management guidelines recommend only supportive measures; however, there is an increasing burden for bronchiolitis especially in developing countries. The use of nebulized hypertonic saline may aid in decreasing hospital stay and decrease the global burden of the disease.
Objective: To compare between the efficacy of hypertonic saline versus normal saline in reducing duration of hospital admission and improving symptoms of acute bronchiolitis.
Patients and methods: A randomized comparative clinical trial included 90 children with acute bronchiolitis, conducted at Al-Azhar University Hospital (New Damietta) during the period from October 2019 till June 2020. Patients were randomly assigned into 2 groups; 45 patients received 3% hypertonic saline nebulization (group 1), and 45 patients received 0.9% normal saline nebulization (group 2). Efficacy of treatment was assessed through duration of hospitalization and oxygen supplementation, and severity of respiratory distress.
Results: there was no significant difference between both groups as regard to age, sex, baseline clinical severity score and O2 saturation. After treatment, patients who received nebulized hypertonic saline showed less duration of hospitalization (62.3±20.8 hours vs 76.8± 26.1 hours; p=0.001), less duration of O2 therapy (16.2±6.0 hours vs 25.3±5.4 hours; p=0.01). As regard to severity clinical score, patients received nebulized hypertonic saline showed significant improvement started within 24 hours from admission (P=<0.001).
Conclusions: Nebulized hypertonic 3% saline is effective in reducing hospital stay among children with bronchiolitis compared with nebulized normal saline. Further large studies are required to confirm these results.


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