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World J Pediatr. 2017 Aug;13(4):321-327. doi: 10.1007/s12519-017-0014-9. Epub 2017 Jan 27.

Effects of methylprednisolone or immunoglobulin when added to standard treatment with intravenous azithromycin for refractory Mycoplasma pneumoniae pneumonia in children.

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Department of Pediatric Pulmonology, Shengjing Hospital of China Medical University, 36 Heping, Shenyang, 110004, China.
Department of Pediatric Pulmonology, Shengjing Hospital of China Medical University, 36 Heping, Shenyang, 110004, China.
China Medical University, Shenyang, China.



The prevalence of Mycoplasma pneumoniae pneumonia has increased considerably in recent years. To evaluate the efficacy of combined treatment of azithromycin with intravenous immunoglo-bulin (IVIG) or methylprednisolone in children with refractory Mycoplasma pneumoniae pneumonia (RMPP).


Children with RMPP were randomly allocated to group A [intravenous azithromycin (IA)+ methylprednisolone], group B (IA+IVIG) or group C (IA alone). Following a 7-day treatment, group C patients were randomly separated into two sub-groups: group C1 (IA+methylprednisolone) and group C2 (IA+IVIG). Temperature, respiratory symptoms and signs were examined. The average febrile period after treatment (F2), average total febrile period (F3), infiltration absorption, atelectasis resolution, pleural effusion disappearance were determined. The levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), D-dimer, and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) were measured.


Seven days after enrollment, the average F2 after treatment of group A was the shortest. Compared with the control group C, the combined treatment group A and B showed higher rates of infiltration absorption, atelectasis resolution and pleural effusion disappearance, while lower levels of serum CRP, D-dimer and LDH. Fourteen days after enrollment, all children with combined therapy clinically improved, and presented better laboratory results. Group C1 showed shorter F3 and lower levels of CRP and LDH than those of group C2. Overall, group A showed the shortest F3, also has the lowest CRP and LDH.


Azithromycin with IVIG or methylprednisolone was better treatment for children with RMPP than azithromycin alone. IVIG treatment may be beneficial, especially when the efficacy of corticosteroids is insecure, thus could be considered as an alternative of primary therapeutic approaches.


immunoglobulin; methylprednisolone; refractory Mycoplasma pneumoniae pneumonia

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