Identification of bronchiolitis profiles in Italian children through the application of latent class analysis

Giovanna Cilluffo, Giuliana Ferrante, Giovanni Corsello, Giovanna Cilluffo, Francesca Cardella, Piera Dones, Carmela Fondacaro

Risultato della ricerca: Articlepeer review

6 Citazioni (Scopus)


Background: Bronchiolitis is the primary infection of the lower respiratory tract in children under 2 years of age. Although it is generally considered a single nosological entity, recent studies suggested remarkable clinical heterogeneity. To date, no studies have identified classes of children with bronchiolitis within the Italian population. This study aimed to identify discrete profiles of Italian children hospitalized with bronchiolitis using a clustering approach and to compare findings with those obtained in international cohorts.Methods: This was a retrospective single-centre study conducted on children aged ≤2 years hospitalised with bronchiolitis (n = 401) at the Department of Infectious Diseases and the University Department of General Pediatrics in "Giovanni Di Cristina" Pediatric Hospital of Palermo, Italy, between November 2012 and May 2019. Bronchiolitis profiles were determined by latent class analysis, classifying children based on clinical characteristics at admission and viral aetiology.Results: Three profiles were identified. Class 1 (49%) was composed of 45% male children; all children were aged ≤6 months at hospitalization; 77% were infected with RSV; 100% had respiratory distress, 11% had apnea and none had cough. Class 2 (77%) was mainly composed of male subjects (51%); 19% were aged > 6 months at admission; 37% were infected with RSV; 12% had respiratory distress, 5% had apnea and 90% had cough. Class 3 (19%) included the largest proportion of male subjects (94%) and was mostly composed of children aged > 6 months at the time of admission (68%); 70% had cough, 12% showed respiratory distress and none presented with apnoea. Children in Class 1 were more frequently born near the epidemic season (p = 0.028); breastfeeding duration was significantly longer for children in Class 3 (p = 0.004).Conclusions: The study identified distinct clinical profiles of bronchiolitis by a clustering approach in a single-centre study of children hospitalised for bronchiolitis in Italy. The three bronchiolitis profiles share some similarities with those identified in international studies using the same statistical approach. These findings may help to increase the understanding of the phenotypic variability that typically characterizes bronchiolitis, with relevant implications for future research.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Numero di pagine0
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2020

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