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The Functional Assessment of Patients With Pulmonary Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis

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BACKGROUND: Tuberculosis (TB) remains an important public health problem worldwide, as its residual lesions result in functional and quality of life impairments. Few studies have investigated multiple-drug-resistant pulmonary TB (MDR-TB), and the literature regarding the functional parameters of this group of patients is scarce. Functional characterization may point to the need for post-treatment intervention measures that optimize the quality of life in patients with MDR-TB. Thus, this study sought to analyze the respiratory function, functional capacity, and quality of life of patients who were treated for MDR pulmonary TB. METHODS: This study investigated a cross-sectional cohort of MDR-TB patients who underwent drug treatment for at least 18 months. Patients who had associated diseases (human immunodeficiency virus [HIV], severe heart disease, and hypertension) or disabilities that prevented them from walking were excluded. The subjects underwent the following assessments: forced spirometry, a chest radiograph, the 6-min walk test, a bioelectrical impedance analysis, maximal inspiratory and expiratory pressures, and a health-related quality of life questionnaire. RESULTS: Eighteen patients who met the eligibility criteria were enrolled. Spirometric evaluation showed that 78% of the subjects had abnormal patterns. The maximal respiratory pressures were significantly decreased in all subjects, despite the fact that their nutritional status was within the normal range. The distance completed in the 6-min walk test was less than expected in 72% of the subjects. All of the subjects who were evaluated had residual lesions, and 78% reported a worsening in their quality of life. CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion MDR-TB cured subjects exhibit impaired respiratory function and a mildly reduced functional capacity and quality of life, suggesting that a portion of these patients may require a pulmonary rehabilitation approach.

Keywords: TB; multiple-drug-resistant; pulmonary; quality of life; rehabilitation; respiratory function; tuberculosis

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4187/respcare.01532

Affiliations: Programa de Pós-Graduaçáo em Clinica Médica, Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Publication date: November 1, 2012

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