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Diagnosing respiratory syncytial virus by nasal lavage.
  1. I M Balfour-Lynn,
  2. D R Girdhar,
  3. C Aitken
  1. Department of Paediatrics, Northwick Park Hospital and Clinical Research Centre, Harrow, Middlesex.


    Nasal lavage was compared with nasopharyngeal aspiration for diagnosis of respiratory syncytial virus infection. Nasal lavage and nasopharyngeal aspiration were performed on 50 occasions in 32 infants (median age 5.6 months) with acute viral wheezing. Compared with nasopharyngeal aspiration, nasal lavage had a positive predictive value of 95.6% and negative predictive value of 92.5%. These comparable results and lack of adverse effects make nasal lavage the preferred method.

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