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A wide variety of complications may develop including: (1)

  • otitis media - usually in children - and sinusitis - usually in adults
  • myringitis
  • erythema multiforme and Stevens-Johnson syndrome
  • myocarditis and pericarditis
  • myalgia and arthralgia, which may persist for months
  • haemolytic anaemia and renal failure due to the presence of cold agglutinins
  • thrombocytopenia
  • central nervous system problems including meningo- encephalitis, cerebellar ataxia, Guillain-Barre syndrome and transverse myelitis
  • gastrointestinal symptoms, for example diarrhoea, vomiting
  • in patients with sickle cell disease they may trigger a lung crisis

These may occur at any time during the illness and can dominate the clinical picture. Most are rare.


1. Smith L. Mycoplasma Pneumonia and its Complications. Infectious Disease Clinics. Vol.4 Issue 1. p.57-60, March 2010

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