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Chest. 1995 Jan;107(1):120-5.

Reversible airway lesions in diffuse panbronchiolitis. Detection by high-resolution computed tomography.

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First Department of Internal Medicine and Radiology, Kurume University Medical School, Fukuoka, Japan.


The clinical effectiveness of erythromycin for patients with diffuse panbronchiolitis (DPB) was previously recognized. However, it remains unknown what kind of airway lesions change with the clinical effectiveness induced by erythromycin. We performed the present study to clarify this unknown. We devised a method for scoring findings on high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) to aid in the objective evaluation of the airway lesions in patients with DPB. The 18 patients with DPB were treated with oral erythromycin, 600 mg/d. All patients were evaluated by pulmonary function tests and HRCT before and after 3 months of therapy. Characteristic HRCT findings in patients with DPB pretherapy were small nodules, airway ectasia, periairway thickening, and mucus plugging. After erythromycin therapy, there was significant reduction in scores for the extent of small nodular opacities, the severity of periairway thickening, and the extent of mucus plugging with a corresponding significant improvement in results of the pulmonary function test parameters. The present study demonstrated reversible airway lesions in patients with DPB in response to erythromycin therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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