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Steroids aid recovery from pneumonia, UT Southwestern researchers say
Date:10/14/2008

d airway inflammation. The animals were then evaluated after one, three and six days of therapy.

"It turns out that the group that got both the antibiotic and the steroids did the best," Dr. Hardy said. "The inflammation in their lungs got significantly better."

Although antimicrobials remain the primary therapy for M pneumoniae infection, there have been several reports in recent years about physicians adding steroids to the treatment regimen of patients with severe cases, Dr. Hardy said. The problem, he said, is that those were individual case reports.

"They never had a control group, so it was impossible to tell what impact the addition of steroids had on recovery," he said.

The new findings not only suggest that giving antibiotics with steroids can help individuals with pneumonia get better faster, but also suggest a potentially more effective therapy for someone in the midst of an asthma attack due to M pneumoniae infection. Up to 20 percent of asthma attacks in children and adults have been shown to be triggered by this bacterium.

Dr. Hardy said it's too early to recommend steroids as standard treatment for people with this type of bacterial pneumonia, but the work does support the need for a clinical trial.

"Or if there are very sick patients, this combination treatment doesn't seem to worsen the disease," he said. "The good thing about our results is the data alone support moving on to a clinical study."


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Contact: Kristen Holland Shear
kristen.hollandshear@utsouthwestern.edu
214-648-3404
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert  

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Steroids aid recovery from pneumonia, UT Southwestern researchers say
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