Adenoviruses are well known causes of respiratory illness in children. Long term sequelae reported with types 3, 7, and 21 include bronchiolitis obliterans, bronchiectasis, and the hyperlucent lung or McLeod syndrome. Twenty children admitted to hospital with adenovirus type 7 pneumonia between 1960 and 1978 were studied and compared with 20 controls admitted during the same period with adenovirus type 7 upper respiratory tract infections. Sixty five per cent of the pneumonia group had developed evidence of airways obstruction compared with 10% of controls. Young age at the time of pneumonia and a 'measles-like' illness before its onset increase the chance of developing long term pulmonary function abnormalities. Sex and family history of smoking or atopy do not influence outcome.
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