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Tuberc Respir Dis > Volume 41(2); 1994 > Article
Tuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases 1994;41(2):127-134.
DOI:    Published online March 29, 2016.
Clinical Effect of Low-dose Long-term Erythromycin on Diffuse Panbronchiolitis.
Young Whan Kim, , Gye Young Park, , Chul Gyu Yoo, , Sung Koo Han, , Young Soo Shim, , Keun Youl Kim, , Yong Chol Han,
Diffuse panbronchiolitis(DPB) is a chronic inflammatory lung disease of unknown etiology which has characteristic clinical, radiological and pathological features, and is distinguished from bronchial asthma, chronic bronchitis, pulmonary emphysema, bronchiectasis, or alveolitis. Clinically, patients with DPB have chronic cough, purulent sputum, exertional dyspnea, and finally respiratory failure. Until a few years ago, the prognosis of DPB had been thought to be very grave, because there had been no effective treatment for the disease. But recently, low-dose long-term erythromycin was found to be very effective on DPB. Even though DPB is prevalent in Japan, and is known to be rare outside of Japan, we have already reported the clinical features of 16 DPB cases in Korea. We tried low-dose long-term erythromycin on DPB patients and analyzed the clinical effect of erythromycin. METHODS: We analyzed the changes of subjective symptoms, physical signs, pulmonary function tests and chest X-rays on 14 DPB patients with more than 6 months erythromycin treatment during the period from September 1989 to August 1992 in Seoul National University Hospital. RESULTS: 1) Subjective symptoms improved in all patients within 2-3 months, and 54.5% of the patients shorted no symptom after one year of treatment. 2) Crackles and wheezing decreased in 92.9% of the patients after 3 months and completely disappeared in 63.5% of the Patients after one year of treatment. 3) FVC and FEV1 increased remarkably during the first 3 months, and slowly increased thereafter, reaching normal level after one year of treatment. 4) Small nodular lesions on chest X-ray decreased in all patients, and chest PA was normal in 36.4% of the patients after one year of treatment. 5) There was side effect in one patient, stopping medication because of dyspepsia. One patient stopped medication because of no symptom after 16 months of treatment, but her symptom recurring after one month, improving again after retreatment. CONCLUSION: Low-dose long-term erythromycin showed ramarkable effectiveness on DPB. Further studies are needed on the mechanism of the drug and the duration of the treatment.
Key Words: Diffuse panbronchiolitis(DPB), Erythromycin

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