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Volume 43, Number 5, October 2010

Hospitalized Pediatric Parainfluenza Virus Infections in a Medical Center

Yu-Jun Hsieh, Hsin Chin, Nan-Chang Chiu, Fu-Yung Huang

Received: February 23, 2009    Revised: June 30, 2009    Accepted: August 30, 2009   


Corresponding author:

Nan-Chang Chiu, Department of Pediatrics, Mackay Memorial Hospital, 92 Section 2, Chung Shan North Road,
Taipei 10449, Taiwan.


Background and purpose: 

Parainfluenza viruses (PIVs) are common pathogens in respiratory tract infections. The aims of this study were to determine the clinical presentation of PIV infections in hospitalized children and to identify particular clinical indications that may effectively distinguish between different PIV serotypes.



A retrospective review of data from children hospitalized with PIV infections at the Mackay Memory Hospital in Taipei between January 2005 and December 2007 was undertaken. Symptoms, signs, laboratory findings and seasonal variations between different types of PIV (serotypes 1, 2 and 3) were compared.



A total of 206 patients [119 (57.8%) boys and 87 (42.2%) girls] were enrolled in the study. Seventy-four (35.9%) patients were infected with PIV serotype 1, 25 (12.1%) with serotype 2 and 107 (51.9%) with serotype 3. The most common clinical presentations were fever (81.1%), cough (66.0%), rhinorrhea (44.2%) and hoarseness (22.3%); 4.9% of the infected children also had skin rashes. No significant  ifferences
were found in average white blood cell counts and C-reactive protein levels between the three serotypes. PIV serotype 1 infections were discernible throughout the year; serotype 2 tended to cluster in the late summer and autumn of 2005 and 2007; and serotype 3 was more common in the spring and early summer.



The clinical presentation of PIV infection in hospitalized children ranges from upper respiratory tract infection to croup, bronchiolitis and viral bronchopneumonia, with the different types of PIV infections giving rise to similar symptoms. The seasonal distribution of the different serotypes is, nevertheless, quite distinct.


Key words:

children, parainfluenza virus infections, respiratory infections