Management of acute respiratory diseases in the pediatric population: The role of oral corticosteroids

Renato Cutrera, Eugenio Baraldi, Luciana Indinnimeo, Michele Miraglia Del Giudice, Giorgio Piacentini, Francesco Scaglione, Nicola Ullmann, Laura Moschino, Francesca Galdo, Marzia Duse

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Respiratory diseases account for about 25% of all pediatric consultations, and 10% of these are for asthma. The other main pediatric respiratory diseases, in terms of incidence, are bronchiolitis, acute bronchitis and respiratory infections. Oral corticosteroids, in particular prednisolone, are often used to treat acute respiratory diseases given their anti-inflammatory effects. However, the efficacy of treatment with oral corticosteroids differs among the various types of pediatric respiratory diseases. Notably, also the adverse effects of corticosteroid treatment can differ depending on dosage, duration of treatment and type of corticosteroid administered - a case in point being growth retardation in long-course treatment. A large body of data has accumulated on this topic. In this article, we have reviewed the data and guidelines related to the role of oral corticosteroids in the treatment and management of pediatric bronchiolitis, wheezing, asthma and croup in the attempt to provide guidance for physicians. Also included is a section on the management of acute respiratory failure in children.

Original languageEnglish
Article number31
JournalItalian Journal of Pediatrics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 23 2017


  • Acute respiratory diseases
  • Asthma
  • Bronchiolitis
  • Croup
  • Respiratory failure
  • Wheezing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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