Erythromycin treatment in diffuse panbronchiolitis

Curr Opin Pulm Med. 1998 Mar;4(2):116-21. doi: 10.1097/00063198-199803000-00010.


Diffuse panbronchiolitis is a chronic infectious airway disease that mainly occurs in the Far East. The prognosis for diffuse panbronchiolitis has dramatically improved over the past 10 years with the use of low-dose long-term erythromycin treatment. The beneficial effect of erythromycin and other 14-membered-ring macrolides in this condition is considered to be due to an anti-inflammatory rather than anti-infective mechanism. Recent investigations have revealed many new actions to the airway epithelial and inflammatory cells, e.g., neutrophils, lymphocytes, and macrophages. Furthermore, erythromycin treatment of diffuse panbronchiolitis provides a new understanding of the pathophysiology and the treatment of chronic infectious airway disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Bronchi / drug effects
  • Bronchiolitis / drug therapy*
  • Bronchiolitis / mortality
  • Bronchiolitis / pathology
  • Erythromycin / pharmacology
  • Erythromycin / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymphocytes / drug effects
  • Macrophages / drug effects
  • Male
  • Neutrophils / drug effects
  • Prognosis
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Erythromycin