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Heliox inhalation therapy for bronchiolitis in infants

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, September 2015
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  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (91st percentile)
  • Good Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (70th percentile)

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2 blogs
8 tweeters
1 Facebook page
1 Wikipedia page


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174 Mendeley
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Heliox inhalation therapy for bronchiolitis in infants
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, September 2015
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd006915.pub3
Pubmed ID

Jean-Michel Liet, Thierry Ducruet, Vineet Gupta, Gilles Cambonie


Bronchiolitis is the leading cause of hospitalisation among infants in high-income countries. Acute viral bronchiolitis is associated with airway obstruction and turbulent gas flow. Heliox, a mixture of oxygen and the inert gas helium, may improve gas flow through high-resistance airways and decrease the work of breathing. In this review, we selected trials that objectively assessed the effect of the addition of heliox to standard medical care for acute bronchiolitis. To assess heliox inhalation therapy in addition to standard medical care for acute bronchiolitis in infants with respiratory distress, as measured by clinical endpoints (in particular the rate of endotracheal intubation, the rate of emergency department discharge, the length of treatment for respiratory distress) and pulmonary function testing (mainly clinical respiratory scores). We searched CENTRAL (2015, Issue 2), MEDLINE (1966 to March week 3, 2015), EMBASE (1974 to March 2015), LILACS (1982 to March 2015) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) website (May 2009). Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and quasi-RCTs of heliox in infants with acute bronchiolitis. Two review authors independently extracted data and assessed trial quality. We included seven trials involving 447 infants younger than two years with respiratory distress secondary to viral bronchiolitis. All children were recruited from a paediatric intensive care unit (PICU; 378 infants), except in one trial (emergency department; 69 infants). All children were younger than two (under nine months in two trials and under three months in one trial). Positive tests for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) were required for inclusion in five trials. The two other trials were carried out in the bronchiolitis seasons. Seven different protocols were used for inhalation therapy with heliox.When heliox was used in the PICU, we observed no significant reduction in the rate of intubation: risk ratio (RR) 2.73 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.96 to 7.75, four trials, 408 infants, low quality evidence). When heliox inhalation was used in the emergency department, we observed no increase in the rate of discharge: RR 0.51 (95% CI 0.17 to 1.55, one trial, 69 infants, moderate quality evidence).There was no decrease in the length of treatment for respiratory distress: mean difference (MD) -0.19 days (95% CI -0.56 to 0.19, two trials, 320 infants, moderate quality evidence). However, in the subgroup of infants who were started on nasal continuous positive airway pressure (nCPAP) right from the start, because of severe respiratory distress, heliox therapy reduced the length of treatment: MD -0.76 days (95% CI -1.45 to -0.08, one trial, 21 infants, low quality evidence). No adverse events related to heliox inhalation were reported.We found that infants treated with heliox inhalation had a significantly lower mean clinical respiratory score in the first hour after starting treatment when compared to those treated with air or oxygen inhalation: MD -1.04 (95% CI -1.60 to -0.48, four trials, 138 infants, moderate quality evidence). This outcome had statistical heterogeneity, which remained even after removing the study using a standard high-concentration reservoir mask. Several factors may explain this heterogeneity, including first the limited number of patients in each trial, and the wide differences in the baseline severity of disease between studies, with the modified Wood Clinical Asthma Score (m-WCAS) in infants treated with heliox ranging from less than two to more than seven. Current evidence suggests that the addition of heliox therapy may significantly reduce a clinical score evaluating respiratory distress in the first hour after starting treatment in infants with acute RSV bronchiolitis. We noticed this beneficial effect regardless of which heliox inhalation protocol was used. Nevertheless, there was no reduction in the rate of intubation, in the rate of emergency department discharge, or in the length of treatment for respiratory distress. Heliox could reduce the length of treatment in infants requiring CPAP for severe respiratory distress. Further studies with homogeneous logistics in their heliox application are needed. Inclusion criteria must include a clinical severity score that reflects severe respiratory distress to avoid inclusion of children with mild bronchiolitis who may not benefit from heliox inhalation. Such studies would provide the necessary information as to the appropriate place for heliox in the therapeutic schedule for severe bronchiolitis.

Twitter Demographics

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Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 174 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Spain 1 <1%
Switzerland 1 <1%
South Africa 1 <1%
United Kingdom 1 <1%
Brazil 1 <1%
Denmark 1 <1%
Philippines 1 <1%
Colombia 1 <1%
Unknown 166 95%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 34 20%
Researcher 24 14%
Unspecified 22 13%
Other 18 10%
Student > Bachelor 17 10%
Other 59 34%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 104 60%
Unspecified 33 19%
Nursing and Health Professions 14 8%
Social Sciences 4 2%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 3 2%
Other 16 9%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 21. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 28 June 2019.
All research outputs
of 13,560,201 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
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Outputs of similar age
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Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
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Altmetric has tracked 13,560,201 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 94th percentile: it's in the top 10% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 10,632 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 21.1. This one has done well, scoring higher than 76% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 246,912 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 91% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 262 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 70% of its contemporaries.