The heterogeneity of viral bronchiolitis: A lack of universal consensus definitions

David Hancock, Billie Charles-Britton, Dani Dixon, Kevin Forsyth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Viral bronchiolitis is one of the most common hospital presentations in infancy and as such represents a major healthcare burden worldwide. However despite this, there are currently no effective targeted therapies nor can those infants at highest risk for developing severe disease or subsequent respiratory morbidity be predicted on initial hospital presentation. Current definitions of bronchiolitis in the published literature vary significantly in terms of the age range at presentation, specific clinical symptoms, causative virus, and the inclusion or exclusion of infants with previous presentations and/or various comorbidities. In this review, we highlight how this heterogeneity among definitions contributes to a lack of clarity on this condition and its likely multiple endotypes. We argue that without a new universal consensus definition or sets of definitions, progress into bronchiolitis will continue to be stalled.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1234-1240
Number of pages7
JournalPediatric Pulmonology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2017


  • asthma & early wheeze
  • bronchiolitis
  • immunology and immunodeficiency
  • infections pneumonia
  • lung pathology
  • TB
  • viral


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