Hands-on care

OMT may boost antibiotic effectiveness in pneumonia patients, study says

A new JAOA study finds that lymphatic pump treatment given with antibiotics helps to expedite the removal of bacteria from the lungs.


When combined with antibiotics, lymphatic pump treatment (LPT) shows promise as an adjunctive therapy for patients with pneumonia, according to a new study in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.

Researchers performed LPT, a standard osteopathic manipulative technique, on infected rats three times a day followed by injections of levofloxacin, a popular antibiotic used to treat pneumonia. After 96 hours, over 60 percent of the LPT rats were disease-free compared to only 25 percent of rats who received the antibiotic alone.

“Osteopathic physicians have long used LPT to help treat and prevent infection,” says lead author Lisa M. Hodge, PhD, of the Osteopathic Research Center at the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth. “This study is the first of its kind to finally link LPT to improved drug efficacy.”

Although the mechanism responsible for this protection is unclear, the study’s authors note once they are understood, applying LPT to pneumonia patients may decrease deaths and cut hospitalization costs by reducing the length of a patient’s stay. Currently, pneumonia accounts for more than 1 million hospital admissions at a cost of more than $8 billion annually, according to the study.

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