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Home care equivalent to hospital care for some patients with cystic fibrosis
Date:7/8/2010

Patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) recover from exacerbations equally well if they are treated at home or in a hospital, according to researchers from Johns Hopkins University. Furthermore, longer treatment with antibiotics does not appear to offer any additional benefit over shorter courses.

The study was published online ahead of the print edition of the American Thoracic Society's American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

"We undertook this research owing to the lack of clinical information of best practices in treating CF exacerbations available to physicians," said J. Michael Collaco, M.D., assistant professor at Johns Hopkins.

In 2008 patients with CF had an average lifespan of only 37.4 years, and most died of the progressive pulmonary obstruction associated with the disease. The progression of the disease may be hastened by recurrent exacerbations.

"Traditional management includes aggressive airway clearance and antibiotics, the latter frequently administered intravenously, but despite effective symptomatic therapy, many patients may never completely recover their baseline lung function. Thus, it is crucial to determine the most effective means of therapy delivery for CF respiratory exacerbations," said Dr. Collaco. "Unfortunately, due to the difficulty of performing randomized controlled trials, existing evidence is insufficient for many treatment issues, including the best site for delivery of care and the optimal duration of therapy."

Outpatient intravenous antibiotic therapy has gained widespread acceptance because of its advantages over hospitalization including: fewer absences from school or work, less disruption of family life, decreased costs per treatment course, and high patient satisfaction. However, long-term costs may not be reduced in the outpatient setting if it precipitates the need for longer and more frequent courses of antibiotics, and quality of life may not alwa
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Contact: Keely Savoie
ksavoie@thoracic.org
212-315-8620
American Thoracic Society
Source:Eurekalert

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