STEVEN J. SPERBER, M.D.; FREDERICK G. HAYDEN, M.D.
To the editor: Anthonisen and colleagues (1) reported the effects of broad spectrum antibacterial agents in the treatment of acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The premise of their study is dependent on a causal role of bacterial infections in such exacerbations, although this has not been conclusively shown. Indeed, their results indicate that oral antimicrobial agents improved clinical outcome in a relatively small portion of exacerbations compared with placebo and provide indirect evidence that bacterial infection does not play a major role in such exacerbations.
Several studies (2-5) have shown an association between respiratory viruses and exacerbations of
SPERBER SJ, HAYDEN FG. Antibiotics and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Ann Intern Med. ;106:910. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-106-6-910_2
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1987;106(6):910.
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