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Epidemiology of Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection in Infants Born at Less Than Thirty-Five Weeks of Gestational Age

Park, Hye Won MD*; Lee, Byong Sop MD, PhD; Kim, Ai-Rhan MD, PhD; Yoon, Hye Sun MD, PhD; Kim, Beyong Il MD, PhD§; Song, Eun Song MD, PhD; Kim, Woo Taek MD, PhD; Lim, JaeWoo MD**; Kim, SeungYeon MD††; Jin, Hyun-Seung MD‡‡; Byun, ShinYun MD, PhD§§; Chee, Dong Hyun MD¶¶; Kim, Ki-Soo MD, PhD

The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal: August 2012 - Volume 31 - Issue 8 - p e99–e104
doi: 10.1097/INF.0b013e318257f619
Original Studies

Background: The aims of this study were to observe the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) hospitalization rate and to identify the risk factors for hospitalization for RSV infection among infants in Korea born at <35 weeks of gestational age and who had not previously received palivizumab.

Methods: We conducted a study over a 2.5-year period (between April 2007 and September 2009) that included premature infants (<35 weeks of gestational age) who underwent follow-up during 1 year after discharge from the neonatal intensive care unit. Demographic information was collected for each subject at baseline, and the reasons for hospitalization were obtained during the 1-year follow-up period.

Results: The study population included 1022 subjects who completed follow-up interviews. Eight hundred seventeen infants were included in analysis for RSV hospitalization. Excluded from the study were 167 subjects with chronic lung disease who had received palivizumab prophylaxis and 38 subjects who were not tested for RSV. The overall incidence of RSV hospitalization in the group that did not receive palivizumab was 4.5% (37 of 817 patients). Independent risk factors associated with RSV hospitalization were multiple gestation (P = 0.022) and longer duration of mechanical ventilation in the neonatal intensive care unit (P = 0.039).

Conclusion: This study showed the epidemiology and risk factors of RSV hospitalization in preterm infants in Korea. RSV infection was one of the main causes of hospitalization after discharge from the neonatal intensive care unit in patients born at <35 weeks of gestational age.

From the *Division of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics, Konkuk University Hospital, Konkuk University School of Medicine, Seoul; College of Medicine, University of Ulsan, Children’s Hospital, Asan Medical Center, Seoul; College of Medicine, Eulji University, Eulji Hospital, Seoul; §Seoul National University, Bundang Hospital, Seongnam; Chonnam National University Hospital, Gwangju; #Daegu Catholic University Medical Center, Daegu; **Konyang University Hospital, Daejeon; ††Eulji University College of Medicine, Eulji Hospital, Daejeon; ‡‡GangNeung Asan Hospital, University of Ulsan, College of Medicine, Gangwon-do; §§Pusan National University Children’s Hospital, Yangsan; and ¶¶Abbott Korea Limited, Seoul, Korea.

Accepted for publication March 27, 2012.

Supported by Abbott Korea Limited (to H.W.P., B.S.L., S.Y.P., A.R.K., K.S.K., B.I.K., H.S.Y., Y.Y.C., W.T.K., J.W.L., S.Y.K., H.S.J. and S.Y.B.). D.H.C. is an employee of Abbott Korea Limited. The authors have no other funding or conflicts of interest to disclose.

Address for Correspondence: Ki-Soo Kim, MD, PhD, Division of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Asan Medical Center Children’s Hospital, 388-1 Pungnap-dong, Songpa-gu, Seoul 138-42, Korea. E-mail:

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.