JEROME E. CARBONE, M.D.
To the editor: I hoped that the article by Nicotra and colleagues (1) would help to clarify the use of antibiotics in treating acute exacerbations of chronic bronchitis. My hopes were not met.
The major shortcoming of the study is that it failed to show that the placebo group and the tetracycline group received otherwise similar therapy. The report did not mention serum theophylline levels, inhaled bronchodilator regimens, or corticosteroid doses. The authors should have rigidly controlled the therapeutic regimens to assure comparability between the two groups. Failing this, a retrospective analysis would have permitted the reader to assess whether
CARBONE JE. Chronic Bronchitis and Antibiotics. Ann Intern Med. ;98:109. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-98-1-109_2
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1983;98(1):109.
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