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Free Content Ambulatory treatment of multidrug-resistant pulmonary tuberculosis patients at a chest clinic

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SETTING: Retrospective cohort analysis of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) patients treated at a Korean National Tuberculosis Association out-patient chest clinic.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate treatment outcomes and contributing factors.

DESIGN: A review of clinical records of 1011 pulmonary MDR-TB patients retreated with individualised regimens selected on the basis of previous chemotherapy and drug susceptibility testing from 1988 to 1996.

RESULTS: The patients (mean age 38.6 years) had resistant organisms to an average of 3.7 drugs and were retreated with an average of 4.2 drugs which they had previously not taken and to which they were susceptible. Treatment outcomes were as follows: 487 cases (48.2%) cured, 82 (8.1%) failed, 394 (39.0%) defaulted, 45 (4.5%) transferred out, and three (0.3%) died. The treatment efficacy among those who completed chemotherapy was 85.6%. In a multivariate analysis favourable response was significantly associated with a greater number of newly prescribed drugs in the regimen to which they were susceptible (odds ratio [OR] 3.6; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.3–9.5), younger age (OR 2.0; 95%CI 1.1–3.9), and a lower number of drugs to which they were resistant (OR 1.8; 95%CI 1.1–3.1). The case fatality rate, including the follow-up period, was 1.7% (17 cases).

CONCLUSION: The cure rate of MDR-TB patients treated at an out-patient clinic was 48.2% due to a high defaulter rate (39.0%). However, 85.6% of those who completed treatment were cured.
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Keywords: Korea; MDR-TB; treatment outcomes

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: Korean Institute of Tuberculosis, Korean National Tuberculosis Association, Seoul, Korea

Publication date: 2001-12-01

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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