Short courses of antibiotics for children and adults with bronchiectasis

Danielle Wurzel, Julie Marchant, Stephanie Yerkovich, John Upham, Ian Brent Masters, Anne Chang

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Background: Bronchiectasis is an important cause of respiratory morbidity in both developing and developed countries. Antibiotics are considered standard therapy in the treatment of this condition but it is unknown whether short courses (four weeks or less) are efficacious.

    Objectives: To determine whether short courses of antibiotics (i.e. less than or equal to four weeks) for treatment of acute and stable state bronchiectasis, in adults and children, are efficacious when compared to placebo or usual care.

    Search methods: The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL, The Cochrane Library), MEDLINE, EMBASE, OLDMEDLINE, CINAHL, AMED and PsycINFO and handsearching of respiratory journals and meeting abstracts were performed by the Cochrane Airways Group up to February 2011.

    Selection criteria: Only randomised controlled trials were considered. Adults and children with bronchiectasis (defined clinically or radiologically) were included. Patients with cystic fibrosis were excluded.

    Data collection and analysis: Two review authors independently reviewed the titles, abstracts and citations to assess eligibility for inclusion. Only one study fulfilled the inclusion criteria and thus meta-analysis could not be performed.

    Main results: The single eligible study showed a small benefit, when compared to placebo, of four weeks of inhaled antibiotic therapy in adults with bronchiectasis and pseudomonas in their sputum. There were no studies in children and no studies on oral or intravenous antibiotics.

    Authors' conclusions: There is insufficient evidence in the current literature to make reasonable conclusions about the efficacy of short course antibiotics in the management of adults and children with bronchiectasis. Until further evidence is available, adherence to current treatment guidelines is recommended.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article numberCD008695
    Pages (from-to)1-18
    Number of pages18
    JournalCochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2011


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