After minimizing heterogeneity in studies reporting the effectiveness of hypertonic saline in bronchiolitis, does hypertonic saline reduce hospital length-of-stay?

BEEM Bottom Line

Why is this study important?

Several meta-analyses have reported reduced length-of-stay (LOS) for viral bronchiolitis patients treated with hypertonic saline (HS).[1][2][3] The LOS durations varied and the heterogeneity (i.e., the variability between study results beyond that expected by chance alone) was excessive, thereby, indicating differences in the populations, interventions, outcomes and/or study designs. In such cases, the outlier study (or studies) should be excluded from the analyses.

Which, if any, threats to validity are most likely to have an impact on the results and how?

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