Recurrent Lower Respiratory Tract Infections in Children: A Practical Approach to Diagnosis

Maria Francesca Patria, Susanna Esposito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Many children are affected by recurrent lower respiratory tract infections (LRTIs), but the majority of them do not suffer from serious lung or extrapulmonary disease. The challenge for clinicians is to distinguish the recurrent RTIs with self-limiting or minor problems from those with underlying disease. The aim of this review is to describe a practical approach to children with recurrent LRTIs that limits unnecessary, expensive and time-consuming investigations. The children can be divided into three groups on the basis of their personal and family history and clinical findings: 1) otherwise healthy children who do not need further investigations; 2) those with risk factors for respiratory infections for whom a wait-and-see approach can be recommended; and 3) those in whom further investigations are mandatory. However, regardless of the origin of the recurrent LRTIs, it is important to remember that prevention by means of vaccines against respiratory pathogens (i.e. type b Haemophilus influenzae, pertussis, pneumococcal and influenza vaccines) can play a key role.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-60
Number of pages8
JournalPaediatric Respiratory Reviews
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013


  • Bronchiectasis
  • Lower respiratory tract infections
  • Lung
  • Recurrent pneumonia
  • Recurrent respiratory tract infections
  • Upper respiratory tract infections

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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