April 15th 2006
A 51-year-old woman with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease presents with nonproductive cough and slowly progressive dyspnea of 3 months' duration. She denies fever, chills, and night sweats. Over the past 3 months, she has received several different courses of treatment; the latest was cefixime, a 2-week tapering dose of prednisone, and bronchodilators. These treatments have failed to alleviate her symptoms.