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Canadian Respiratory Journal
Volume 11, Issue 8, Pages 573-577
Original Article

Symptom Resolution in Patients with Mycoplasma pneumoniae Pneumonia

Thomas J Marrie,1 Michael Beecroft,2 Zeljka Herman-Gnjidic,2 and Melanie Poulin-Costello2

1Department of Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
2Bayer Inc, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Copyright © 2004 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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.