Acute Lower Respiratory Infections Associated with Respiratory Syncytial Virus in Children with Congenital Heart Disease: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.

Pa Saidou Chaw, Stephanie Wen Lan Wong, Steve Cunningham, Harry Campbell, Rafael Mikolajczyk, Harish Nair, RESCEU Investigators.


Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the most common viral pathogen associated with acute lower respiratory infections (ALRIs), with significant childhood morbidity and mortality worldwide. Estimates reporting RSV-associated ALRI (RSV-ALRI) severity in children with congenital heart disease (CHD) are lacking, thus warranting the need to summarize the available data. We identified relevant studies to summarize the findings and conducted a meta-analysis of available data on RSV-associated ALRI hospitalizations in children aged <5 years, comparing those with underlying CHD to those without CHD.

We conducted a systematic search of existing relevant literature and identified studies reporting hospitalization of children aged <5 years with RSV-ALRI with underlying or no CHD. We summarized the data and conducted (where possible) a random-effects meta-analysis to compare the 2 groups.

We included 18 studies that met our strict eligibility criteria. The risk of severe RSV-ALRI (odds ratio, 2.2; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.6–2.8), the rate of hospitalization (incidence rate ratio, 2.8; 95% CI, 1.9–4.1), and the case-fatality ratio (risk ratio [RR], 16.5; 95% CI, 13.7–19.8) associated with RSV-ALRI was higher among children with underlying CHD as compared to those without no CHD. The risk of admission to the intensive care unit (RR, 3.9; 95% CI, 3.4–4.5), need for supplemental oxygen therapy (RR, 3.4; 95% CI, .5–21.1), and need for mechanical ventilation (RR, 4.1; 95% CI, 2.1–8.0) was also higher among children with underlying CHD.

This is the most detailed review to show more-severe RSV-ALRI among children aged <5 years with underlying CHD, especially hemodynamically significant underlying CHD, as compared those without CHD, supporting a need for improved RSV prophylactics and treatments that also have efficacy in children older than 1 year.

Full article here.