Original Article

The effects of azithromycin on patients with diffuse panbronchiolitis: a retrospective study of 29 cases

Ding Hui, Fen Yan, Ru-Hua Chen


Background: Diffuse panbronchiolitis (DPB), a chronic inflammatory disease of the airway, is treated with macrolide antibiotics. The ability of azithromycin to improve DPB prognosis, as detected by high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) scans and lung function tests, has not been studied in a large retrospective of patients. Our study aims to investigate the effects of azithromycin on patients with DPB using lung function tests and radiologic images.
Methods: Twenty-nine patients with DPB were studied; their medical records were collected and analyzed retrospectively. Patients studied were hospitalized in the respiratory department of the Yixing Hospital, affiliated with Jiangsu University. Azithromycin was administered for 6-17 months. Changes in lung function and HRCT scans after treatment with azithromycin for six months were compared with pre-treatment values and images respectively.
Results: Azithromycin therapy for six months resulted in rapid improvements in lung function, demonstrated by forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1.0%), forced expiratory volume in one second over the forced vital capacity (FEV1.0/FVC), and forced expiratory volume with 75% vital capacity (FEF75%) values. In addition, improvements were seen in small nodular shadows, dilated peripheral bronchi, bronchial wall thickening, and tree-in-bud pattern, as detected by chest HRCT scans.
Conclusions: Long-term therapy with azithromycin is effective for patients with DPB.

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