The usefulness of prednisolone in combination with the modern potent antituberculous drugs has been studied in 29 children with primary lung tuberculosis and hilar adenopathy causing bronchial obstruction. These children were divided at random in two groups of 15 and 14 patients. Both groups were treated similarly except that one group received prednisolone. Both groups were very similar before the onset of treatment for most variables. Tuberculous infection healed in both groups but the group on steroids improved earlier and had significantly fewer complications, both on radiography and bronchoscopy. Only two of the patients on steroids still had progressive lesions: a very young baby probably because he developed two severe viral infections consecutively, and another infant of 7 months whose treatment was unreliable, as the parents were not very compliant. Some patients initially not treated with prednisolone improved only after it was given. Prednisolone treatment is not recommended when the reliability of the treatment cannot be guaranteed, as the hazard of harm would exceed the expected benefit.
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