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Rhinovirus induced bronchiolitis and ARDS in pregnancy: a case report
  1. Elliot Revell,
  2. Madeleine Glasbey and
  3. Peter Brown
  1. Department of Internal Medicine, Gisborne Hospital, Gisborne, New Zealand
  1. Correspondence to Dr Elliot Revell; elliotrevell{at}


A 25-year-old woman in her 30th week of pregnancy presented with a 3-day history of fevers, productive cough and dyspnoea. On presentation she was tachypnoeic, tachycardic and hypoxic. Auscultation of the chest revealed widespread wheeze and crepitations at the right mid-zone. Despite initial treatment with intravenous antibiotics, nebulised bronchodilators and oral corticosteroids, the patient continued to deteriorate and required transfer to intensive care. Serial chest radiographs showed increasing bilateral alveolar densities consistent with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). The only positive investigation was a nasopharyngeal swab which revealed rhinovirus RNA. With supportive management, the patient made a full recovery and went on to deliver a healthy infant at 36 weeks gestation. This case explores human rhinoviruses-induced ARDS and highlights the clinical and diagnostic challenges posed by pregnancy in the critically unwell patient.

  • adult intensive care
  • obstetrics and gynaecology
  • respiratory medicine
  • bronchiolitos

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  • Contributors ER was the admitting medical registrar on call and saw the patient initially in the emergency department. MG was the medical registrar covering intensive care during the first two days of admission. PB was the senior medical officer overseeing care. All authors were actively involved in the management of the case and contributed equally to the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Case reports provide a valuable learning resource for the scientific community and can indicate areas of interest for future research. They should not be used in isolation to guide treatment choices or public health policy.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.