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September 1988

Ribavirin and Respiratory Syncytial Virus–Associated Apnea

Author Affiliations

Department of Pediatrics Brown University Program in Medicine Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island Pawtucket, RI 02860

Am J Dis Child. 1988;142(9):913. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1988.02150090011001

Sir.—In his editorial on the use of ribavirin to treat respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infections, published in the May 1988 issue of the AJDC, Ray1 poses a number of unresolved questions and invites readers to add to his list. While there is a well-known association between RSV infections and apnea, especially in young infants or those with a history of prematurity,2 it is not known if treatment with ribavirin is either warranted or effective in infants in whom apnea is the major, and sometimes the only, manifestation of infection.

Patient Reports.Patient 1.—A 25-day-old full-term male infant who was normal at birth, except for a hemodynamically insignificant ventricular septal defect, was admitted after having had a prolonged apneic episode accompanied by profound cyanosis while at home. The infant had had two to three days of mild nasal congestion before this episode. The infant responded to bag-and-mask

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