Objective: To verify the effectiveness of the clinic-radiological examination, as compared to serological confirmation, besides verifying the age groups most affected, the average hospitalization time and the use of a specific antibiotic.
Methods: Transverse retrospective study with analysis of the dossiers of patients hospitalized due to bronchopneumonia or pneumonia, in the Pediatric infirmary of Prof. Edmundo Vasconcelos Hospital, in the period january-august 2003, collecting the following data: identification of the patient, hospitalization time, serology for micoplasma, crioglutinines and the use of antibiotic therapy. The analysis was a simple frequency one, with percentual distribution.
Results: Of the 160 children hospitalized with diagnosis of broncopneumonia or pneumonia, in 34 we requested micoplasma serology and in 27, simultaneous dosage of crioglutinins. In 12 cases (7.5%) the agent responsible for the respiratory symptoms was Mycoplasma pneumoniae. Among these, the average hospitalization time was 8.7 days, while those with non-reacting serology stayed an average 7.3 days. The age group most affected by M.pneumoniae infection was pre-school (2 to 6 years), with 6 cases (50%). Only one patient (8.3%) of the total of 12 with reactive serology for Mycoplasma was given a macrolide (claritromycin) during hospitalization.
Conclusions: The small frequency of children hospitalized with confirmed diagnosis of M. pneumoniae stresses the concept of a low severity of this infection, which is confirmed by the fact that even those with a serologic diagnosis showed clinical improvement, with a favorable course, without the use of specific antibiotic therapy; this observation is in agreement with literature data, suggesting this is not a servere disease and often a self-limited one. Even in the face of this evidence, it is still important to provide early treatment, for relief of symptoms and prevention of eventual complications, justifying the need to carry out specific serology in all suspect cases.