Clinical features, risk factors and treatment of fulminant Mycoplasma pneumoniae pneumonia: A review of the Japanese literature Japanese Society of Chemotherapy and The Japanese Association for Infectious Diseases

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Mycoplasma pneumoniae (MP) is one of the most common causes of community-acquired pneumonia in children and young adults. Although MP sometimes causes self-limiting pneumonia, severe and fulminant cases with hypoxia occur, but their clinical features have rarely been reported. This study aimed to reveal the clinical manifestations, risk factors, and treatment of fulminant MP pneumonia (MPP). Using PubMed and abstracts from the proceedings of several domestic Japanese academic societies, we reviewed the Japanese and English literature for cases of fulminant or severe MPP reported in Japan. All clinical information such as sex, age, underlying diseases, clinical symptoms, clinical course, laboratory and radiological findings, and treatment was collected and analyzed. In total, 52 fulminant MPP cases were reported between September, 1979 and February, 2010. The dominant population of fulminant MPP was young adults without severe underlying diseases. Cough (97.3%), fever (100.0%), and dyspnea (83.3%) with diffuse abnormal findings in radiological examinations were noted. Antibiotics without antimycoplasmal activity were used in 32 cases (61.5%) as initial treatment prior to the onset of hypoxia. Anti-mycoplasmal drugs were appropriately used in 41 cases (78.8%) after onset of respiratory failure with steroids (23 cases, 45.1%) and effective. The majority of patients improved within 3-5 days after steroid administration. There were only 2 fatal cases. Although this small retrospective study did not reveal the apparent risk factors of fulminant MPP, initial inappropriate use of antibiotics may be a risk factor, and early administration of appropriate anti-mycoplasmal drugs with steroids as a cellular immune suppressor is required.


  • Journal of Infection and Chemotherapy

    Journal of Infection and Chemotherapy 20(3), 181-185, 2014-03



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