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Recent Advances in Chest Medicine |

Chronic Macrolide Therapy in Inflammatory Airways Diseases

Adam L. Friedlander, MD; Richard K. Albert, MD, FCCP
Author and Funding Information

From the Division of Pulmonary Sciences and Critical Care Medicine (Drs Friedlander and Albert), and the Department of Medicine, Denver Health (Dr Albert), Department of Medicine, University of Colorado Denver Health Sciences Center; and the Department of Medicine (Dr Friedlander), National Jewish Health, Denver, CO.

Correspondence to: Adam L. Friedlander, MD, National Jewish Health, 1400 Jackson St, Denver, CO 80206; e-mail: Adam.Friedlander@UCDenver.edu


Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians (http://www.chestpubs.org/site/misc/reprints.xhtml).


© 2010 American College of Chest Physicians


Chest. 2010;138(5):1202-1212. doi:10.1378/chest.10-0196
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Long-term therapy with the macrolide antibiotic erythromycin was shown to alter the clinical course of diffuse panbronchiolitis in the late 1980s. Since that time, macrolides have been found to have a large number of antiinflammatory properties in addition to being antimicrobials. These observations provided the rationale for many studies performed over the last decade to assess the usefulness of macrolides in other inflammatory airways diseases, such as cystic fibrosis, asthma, COPD, and bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome. This review summarizes the immunomodulatory properties of macrolides and the results of these recent studies demonstrating their potential for being disease-modifying agents.

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