Table 6

Three main randomised controlled trials of macrolides in bronchiectasis

CountryPopulationInterventionFollow-upPatients
Intervention/control
Primary outcome (exacerbations)
EMBRACE
Wong
New ZealandMean age of 60
At least one exacerbation requiring antibiotics in last year
HRCT-defined bronchiectasis
Azithromycin 500 mg three times a week6 months141
71/70
Exacerbations in first 6 months: 0.59 (treatment group) vs 1.57 (placebo group) p<0.0001
BAT
Altenburg
NetherlandsMean age of 62 years
At least 3 LRTIs treated with antibiotics in the last year
A sputum culture isolating a respiratory pathogens in the last year
Bronchiectasis defined by HRCT or bronchography
Azithromycin 250 mg daily1 year83
43/40
Exacerbations in 52-week treatment period: 0.84 (treatment group) vs 2.05 (placebo group) p<0.001
BLESS
Serisier
AustraliaMean age of 62
At least two exacerbations requiring antibiotics in the last year
Daily sputum production
Clinically stable for at least 4 weeks. HRCT-defined bronchiectasis
Erythromycin ethylsuccinate 400 mg twice daily48 weeks117
59/58
Annualised exacerbation rate: 1.29 (treatment group) vs 1.97 (placebo group) p=0.003
  • LRTI, Lower respiratory tract infection.