Impact of the AAP Guideline on Management of Brief Resolved Unexplained Events

Kamakshya P. Patra, Matthew Hall, Amy M. DeLaroche, Joel S. Tieder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: In May 2016, the American Academy of Pediatrics published a clinical practice guideline (CPG) defining apparent life-threatening events (ALTEs) as brief resolved unexplained events (BRUEs) and recommending risk-based management. We analyzed the association of CPG publication on admission rate, diagnostic testing, treatment, cost, length of stay (LOS), and revisits in patients with BRUE. METHODS: Using the Pediatric Health Information Systems database, we studied patients discharged from the hospital with a diagnosis of ALTE/BRUE from January 2012 to December 2019. We grouped encounters into 2 time cohorts on the basis of discharge date: preguideline (January 2012–January 2016) and postguideline (July 2016–December 2019). We used interrupted time series to test if the CPG publication was associated with level change and change in slope for each metric. RESULTS: The study included 27 941 hospitalizations for ALTE/BRUE from 36 hospitals. There was an early decrease in 12 diagnostic tests that the CPG strongly recommended against. There was a positive change in the use of electrocardiogram (13.5%, P < .001), which is recommended by CPG. There was a significant reduction in admissions (-13.7%, P < .001), utilization of medications (-8.3%, P < .001), cost (-$1146.8, P < .001), and LOS (-0.2 days, P < .001), without a change in the revisit rates. In the postguideline period, there were an estimated 2678 admissions avoided out of 12 508 encounters. CONCLUSIONS: Publication of the American Academy of Pediatrics BRUE CPG was associated with substantial reductions in testing, utilization of medications, admission rates, cost, and LOS, without a change in the revisit rates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)780-787
Number of pages8
JournalHospital pediatrics
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2022
Externally publishedYes


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