Utilization of intranasal ipratropium bromide in the prevention of recurrent croup events: is it effective?

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International journal of pediatric otorhinolaryngology


OBJECTIVE: Recurrent croup (RC) is a common problem in the pediatric population. We theorize that reduced rhinorrhea and post-nasal drip as well as suppressed cough receptor activity by the anticholinergic, intranasal ipratropium bromide (IB), may lead to reduced inflammation and edema of the subglottis, decreasing RC symptoms. The aim of this study is to determine the effectiveness of IB in improving symptoms of RC and in reducing the need for alternative forms of management.

METHOD: A retrospective chart review combined with survey data of patients with RC was conducted to assess demographic data, comorbidities, and treatment outcomes. Pediatric patients less than 10 years of age diagnosed with RC through the department of pediatric otolaryngology between 2018 and 2020 were included. Results were compared between one group treated with IB for RC and a second group treated with medications other than IB.

RESULTS: Among the 67 patients treated for RC, 34 completed survey data and were included in the study. Overall, patients who were treated with IB for RC had 1.83 less croup episodes per year (p = 0.046), a 0.5-point improvement in child symptoms (p = 0.017) and 1.3 fewer doses of steroids per year than the patients not treated with IB (p = 0.018). Patients treated with IB were significantly more likely to answer "yes," that the use of medication helped improve symptoms (p < 0.01).

CONCLUSION: Intranasal IB is a novel therapeutic option that may reduce RC events, improve patient symptoms and reduce steroid use. Further prospective studies are needed to definitively characterize the benefits of IB in the treatment of RC.



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