Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a well-known cause of bronchiolitis in children, can cause community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) in adults, but this condition is not well studied. Hence, we described the characteristics and outcomes of patients hospitalized for CAP due to RSV.
This was a retrospective study of patients admitted to a tertiary-care hospital between 2016 and 2019 with CAP due to RSV diagnosed by a respiratory multiplex PCR within 48 hours of admission. We compared patients who required ICU admission to those who did not.
Eighty adult patients were hospitalized with CAP due to RSV (median age 69.0 years, hypertension 65.0%, diabetes 58.8%, chronic respiratory disease 52.5%, and immunosuppression 17.5%); 19 (23.8%) patients required ICU admission. The median pneumonia severity index score was 120.5 (140.0 for ICU and 102.0 for non-ICU patients; p = 0.09). Bacterial coinfection was rare (10.0%). Patients who required ICU admission had more hypotension (systolic blood pressure < 90 mmHg) and a higher prevalence of bilateral infiltrates on chest X-ray (CXR) (89.5% versus 32.7%; p < 0.001). Systemic corticosteroids were used in 57.3% of patients (median initial dose was 40 mg of prednisone equivalent) with ICU patients receiving a higher dose compared to non-ICU patients ( p = 0.02). Most (68.4%) ICU patients received mechanical ventilation (median duration of 4 days). The overall hospital mortality was 8.8% (higher for ICU patients: 31.6% versus 1.6%, p < 0.001).