Symptom resolution in patients with Mycoplasma pneumoniae pneumonia

Can Respir J. Nov-Dec 2004;11(8):573-7. doi: 10.1155/2004/659187.


Background: Mycoplasma pneumoniae generally causes pneumonia of mild to moderate severity in adults. However, little is known about the time course of the resolution of symptoms in this illness.

Objectives: To determine the time course of the resolution of symptoms in M pneumoniae pneumonia.

Methods: The severity of fatigue, cough, dyspnea, sputum and pleuritic chest pain were self-scored and recorded daily for 14 days and on days 30 and 42. Each symptom was scored on a scale of 0 to 5. The sum of the five symptom scores had a range of 0 to 25 and was transformed into a value from zero to 100 by multiplying by four.

Results: The mean composite symptom score for 76 patients was 59 (out of 100) at presentation, which declined to a score of 17 on day 14. Patients with a score of greater than 20 on day 14 had significantly higher scores throughout the course of the illness. Thirty-four per cent of those who were employed did not take time off work.

Conclusions: Most patients with M pneumoniae pneumonia had resolution of their symptoms within two weeks; however, 12.6% were still symptomatic at 42 days.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Aza Compounds / administration & dosage
  • Aza Compounds / therapeutic use*
  • Clarithromycin / administration & dosage
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Fluoroquinolones
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Moxifloxacin
  • Pneumonia, Mycoplasma / diagnosis
  • Pneumonia, Mycoplasma / drug therapy*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quinolines / administration & dosage
  • Quinolines / therapeutic use*
  • Remission Induction
  • Time Factors


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Aza Compounds
  • Fluoroquinolones
  • Quinolines
  • Clarithromycin
  • Moxifloxacin