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Respir Med. 2003 May;97(5):498-500.

Low-dose methotrexate for advanced pulmonary disease in patients with cystic fibrosis.

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Paediatric Department, Medical School Hannover, Hannover, Germany.


Inflammation is a hallmark in the pathogenesis of pulmonary destruction in cystic fibrosis (CF). There is no proven effective systemic anti-inflammatory treatment for CF patients with advanced pulmonary disease. Methotrexate (MTX) is known as an effective anti-inflammatory treatment in asthma and in juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. The question was: Is an improvement in pulmonary function achievable with low-dose MTX in patients with cystic fibrosis and advanced pulmonary disease.?


We treated five CF patients with advanced pulmonary disease, who deteriorated in spite of intensive conventional therapy on an individual basis with low-dose MTX. FEV1% and immunoglobulin G (IgG) serum levels were followed from the year before to the year after starting with MTX.


In the year before starting with MTX, FEV1% decreased (median: 10% FEV1; range 9-15% FEV1; P<0.005) after starting with MTX, FEV1% increased (median: 9% FEV1; range: 2-15% FEV1; P<0.05). IgG changed (median: -2 g/l; range: 0.2 to -7.3 g/l) in the first year with MTX.


These preliminary data suggest a beneficial effect of MTX even in advanced pulmonary disease in CF patients and supports the need for a controlled prospective study.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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