Open Access Highly Accessed Study protocol

Effectiveness of anti-inflammatory treatment versus antibiotic therapy and placebo for patients with non-complicated acute bronchitis with purulent sputum. The BAAP Study protocol

Carl Llor1*, Ana Moragas2, Carolina Bayona3, Rosa Morros4, Helena Pera4, Josep M Cots5, Yvonne Fernández2, Marc Miravitlles6 and Albert Boada7

Author Affiliations

1 University Rovira i Virgili. Primary Healthcare Centre Jaume I, Tarragona, Spain

2 Primary Healthcare Centre Jaume I, Tarragona, Spain

3 Primary Healthcare Centre Valls Urbà, Valls (Tarragona), Spain

4 Fundació d'Investigació d'Atenció Primaria Jordi Gol i Gurina, Spain

5 University of Barcelona. Primary Healthcare Centre La Marina, Barcelona, Spain

6 Department of Pneumology. Institut Clínic del Tòrax (IDIBAPS), Hospital Clínic, Barcelona. CIBER de Enfermedades Respiratorias (CIBERES), Spain

7 Primary Healthcare Centre Maragall, Barcelona, Spain

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BMC Pulmonary Medicine 2011, 11:38  doi:10.1186/1471-2466-11-38

Published: 21 June 2011



Acute bronchitis is one of the most prevalent respiratory infections in primary care, and in more than 90% of the cases antibiotics are prescribed, mainly when purulent expectoration is present. However, this process is usually viral in origin and the benefits of antibiotic treatment are marginal. On the other hand, in recent years bronchitis has been considered more as an inflammatory than an infectious process. Thus, the aim of this study is to evaluate the clinical effectiveness of a schedule of an oral anti-inflammatory compared with an antibiotic regimen and another group assigned to receive a placebo.

Methods and design

A total of 420 patients from 15 to 70 years of age with no associated comorbidity, presenting respiratory tract infection of at least one week of evolution, with cough as the predominant symptom, the presence of purulent expectoration and at least one other symptom of the respiratory tract (dyspnoea, wheezing, chest discomfort or pain), with no alternative explanation such as pneumonia, will be included in a prospective, randomised and controlled, clinical trial with placebo. The patients will be randomised to receive one of three treatments: ibuprofen, amoxycillin and clavulanic acid or placebo for 10 days. The main outcome measure is the number of days with frequent cough defined by the symptom diary with a score of 1 or more.


This trial is designed to evaluate the number of days with frequent cough with anti-inflammatory treatment compared with antimicrobial treatment and placebo in previously healthy patients with a clinical picture of acute bronchitis and purulent expectoration. It is hypothesized that anti-inflammatory treatment is more effective than antibiotic treatment to reduce cough, which is the most disturbing symptom for patients with this infection.

Trial registration