Concentrations of LTB4, LTC4, LTD4 and LTE4 in bronchiolitis due to respiratory syncytial virus

R. Garofalo, R. C. Welliver, P. L. Ogra, Dr Robert Welliver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Fifty‐five infants with bronchiolitis due to respiratory syncytial virus were evaluated for the presence of leukotriene B4, C4, D4 and E4 in nasopharyngeal secretions. An attempt was made to correlate concentrations of leukotrienes to arterial oxygen tension. Forty participants received conventional therapy consisting primarily of aerosolized albuterol and occasional aminophylline therapy. The other 15 individuals received ribavirin therapy in addition to conventional therapy, and leukotriene concentrations were compared among individuals in these groups. RSV infection was documented by standard methods, and leukotrienes were measured by reverse‐phase high pressure liquid chromatography. The leukotriene detected most commonly was LTC4 (up to 83% of subjects); LTD4 and LTB4 were present in approximately 30% of individuals. The mean partial pressure of oxygen was found to be lower in those individuals with detectable LTB4 than in those without detectable LTB4 (p < 0.025), and an overall inverse correlation of LTB4 concentrations with initial pO2 values was observed (r = 0.318, p < 0.05). The presence and quantity of other leukotrienes did not correlate with the severity of illness. During the first week of illness, the concentration of leukotrienes declined sharply in ribavirin recipients. Individuals receiving conventional therapy during the same time interval exhibited stable or increasing leukotriene concentrations. These observations suggest that LTB4 may be important in the pathogenesis of bronchiolitis, and that ribavirin therapy may inhibit leukotriene release in the respiratory tract.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30-37
Number of pages8
JournalPediatric Allergy and Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • bronchiolitis
  • leukotrienes
  • obstructive airway disease
  • respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
  • ribavirin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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