Aim: The aim of our study was to assess the impact of 8-weekly intravenous (IV) antibiotics on exacerbation frequency and health-related quality of life in bronchiectasis.
Methods: Patients were recruited prospectively from June 2008 to December 2010. Patients with recurrent exacerbations (five or more exacerbations per year) and subjectively reporting ill health between antibiotic courses were recruited. Eight-weekly IV antibiotics (for 14 days) were initiated. Patients were followed up for 1 year. Main outcome was reduction in exacerbation frequency and improvement in health-related quality of life (HRQoL) at 1 year after starting intravenous antibiotic therapy. Other outcomes recorded were forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV(1)), forced vital capacity (FVC), incremental shuttle walk test (ISWT), 24-h sputum volume, sputum microbiology, body mass index (BMI), markers of inflammation--white cell count (WCC), C-reactive protein (CRP) and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR).
Results: In total, 19 patients were recruited. Mean age was 64.1 years and 52.6% were female. With 8-weekly antibiotics, there was a significant reduction in the number of exacerbations [mean (SE): 9.3 (0.5) in the year before vs. 8.0 (0.4) in the year after; P = 0.02]. In 63.2%, Leicester Cough Questionnaire (LCQ) improved by ≥1.3 U (P = 0.006)] and in 42.1% St. George's Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ) improved by ≥4 U (P = 0.03). Exercise capacity increased by 58.7 m (P = 0.004). There was no improvement in the other end points.
Conclusion: Treatment with 8-weekly intravenous antibiotics in severe bronchiectasis reduced exacerbation frequency and improved exercise tolerance and health-related quality of life.