Clinical Practice Guideline

Bronchiolitis

Diagnosis and Management of Bronchiolitis

(Endorsed, 2012)

The following guideline on the Diagnosis and Management of Bronchiolitis was developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics in partnership with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the RTI International-University of North Carolina Evidence-Based Practice Center, and endorsed by the AAFP.

This guideline addresses the diagnosis of bronchiolitis as well as various therapeutic interventions including bronchodilators, corticosteroids, antiviral and antibacterial agents, hydration, chest physiotherapy, and oxygen.

Recommendations are made for prevention of respiratory syncytial virus infection with palivizumab and the control of nosocomial spread of infection. Decisions were made on the basis of a systematic grading of the quality of evidence and strength of recommendation.


These guidelines are provided only as assistance for physicians making clinical decisions regarding the care of their patients. As such, they cannot substitute the individual judgment brought to each clinical situation by the patient’s family physician. As with all clinical reference resources, they reflect the best understanding of the science of medicine at the time of publication, but they should be used with the clear understanding that continued research may result in new knowledge and recommendations. These guidelines are only one element in the complex process of improving the health of America. To be effective, the guidelines must be implemented.