To determine if oral prednisolones given to acutely wheezing preschool-aged children alter respiratory outcomes.

A total of 3247 children (aged 24–59 months) with acute wheezing episodes between August 2014 and September 2016 in 3 New Zealand emergency departments (EDs) were potentially eligible. A total of 493 were randomly assigned, and 477 patients were included in the intention-to-treat analysis (238 in the prednisolone group and 239 in the placebo group). Primary outcome data were available on 393 patients (82% overall; 195 (79%) in the prednisolone group and 198 (83%) in the placebo group). Children <24 months of age were purposely excluded, ensuring that those with bronchiolitis were not included.

In this double-blind placebo-controlled trial, preschool-aged children with viral-induced wheeze who presented to the ED were randomly assigned to receive 3 days of prednisolone (2 mg/kg) or a placebo. The primary outcome measure was a change in the validated Preschool Respiratory Assessment...

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