Publications : 2011

Groothuis JR, Fryzek JP, Makari D, Steffey D, Martone WJ. 2011. Respiratory syncytial virus hospitalization trends in infants with chronic lung disease of infancy, 1998-2008. Clin Epidemiol 3:245-250.



Infants with chronic lung disease of infancy (CLDI) are at high risk for severe respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) illness requiring hospitalization. Palivizumab was first licensed in 1998 for the prevention of RSV disease in high-risk infants, including those with CLDI. We performed a retrospective cohort study of all hospitalized children with CLDI aged <2 years between 1998 and 2008 in the USA to determine trends in rates of hospitalizations due to RSV (RSVH) since the launch of palivizumab.

Materials and methods:

Data from the United States National Hospital Discharge Survey, a multistage systematic survey sample of US hospitals, were assembled. We defined RSVH using International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) codes of 079.6 (RSV), 466.11 (acute bronchiolitis due to RSV), and 480.1 (pneumonia due to RSV). Quarterly rates of RSVH were assessed for children with CLDI (ICD-9-CM code 770.7) and calculated between 1998 and 2008. Because RSV may be miscoded, the analysis was repeated after expanding the definition of RSVH to include all acute bronchitis and acute bronchiolitis (ABH) (ICD-9-CM = 466). Trends were described using linear regression with seasonal indicators included in the model.


On average, about 966 RSVH (range 98–1373 RSVH) per year were found for children <2 years with CLDI in the USA between 1998 and 2008. Over the 11-year period, the predicted rate of RSVH statistically significantly decreased by 48% (from 93.78 to 49.06 RSVH per 1 million children) (P = 0.013). Addition of ABH resulted in a nonstatisically significant decrease of 32% over the 10-year period (P = 0.102).


These results suggest that there has been a decrease in the rate of RSVH in infants with CLDI between 1998 and 2008. The reasons for this decrease may include improved neonatal intensive care unit and outpatient management of CLDI, and possibly increased use of palivizumab in this high-risk population.