Study objective: To assess the effectiveness of one dose of dexamethasone (0.5 mg/kg; maximum, 10 mg) to prevent fever after bronchoscopy with BAL.
Design: Randomized, placebo-controlled study.
Patients: Immunocompetent nonfebrile children undergoing fiberoptic bronchoscopy with BAL.
Measurements and results: Sixty-nine children were included in the study. Thirty-eight children received saline solution, and 31 children received dexamethasone. The two groups were similar regarding the number of children < 2 years old, the percentage of abnormal bronchoscopic findings, the number of positive BAL culture findings, and the index of lipid-laden macrophages. Twenty-six children (68%) in the saline solution group (SG) had fever, compared to 3 children (9.6%) in the dexamethasone group (DG) [p < 0.001]. Fever after the procedure appeared later (12.3 ± 5.5 h) in the DG compared to 5.4 ± 2.7 h in the SG.
Conclusions: One dose of dexamethasone administered prior to performing bronchoscopy with BAL may prevent fever subsequent to the procedure. Further studies are necessary in order to determine the optimal dosing regimen for dexamethasone when used for this purpose.