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Impact of fluoroquinolones on the diagnosis of pulmonary tuberculosis initially treated as bacterial pneumonia

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OBJECTIVE: The excellent in vitro activity of fluoroquinolones against Mycobacterium tuberculosis has raised concerns about the delayed diagnosis of pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) initially misdiagnosed as pneumonia. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of empiric fluoroquinolone therapy on delays in diagnosis in patients with PTB initially misdiagnosed as bacterial pneumonia.

DESIGN: Patients with PTB initially treated as having community-acquired pneumonia and treated with fluoroquinolones for more than 5 consecutive days, from January 2000 to December 2004, were enrolled. As a control group, TB patients initially treated with non-fluoroquinolone antibiotics were enrolled. We reviewed the clinical data and compared treatment responses between the two groups.

RESULTS: Nine patients in the fluoroquinolone group and 19 patients in the non-fluoroquinolone group were enrolled. In the fluoroquinolone group, eight patients (89%) improved clinically or radiographically, whereas only eight patients (42%) in the non-fluoroquinolone group improved (P = 0.04). The delay in initiation of anti-tuberculosis medication was longer in the fluoroquinolone group than in the non-fluoroquinolone group (43.1 ± 40.0 vs. 18.7 ± 16.9 days, P = 0.04).

CONCLUSION: Delay in the initiation of anti-tuberculosis treatment is possible in patients administered fluoroquinolone and initially misdiagnosed as having bacterial pneumonia.

Keywords: diagnosis; fluoroquinolone; tuberculosis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine and Lung Institute of Medical Research Center, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Republic of Korea 2: Department of Radiology and the Institute of Radiation Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Republic of Korea

Publication date: November 1, 2005

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (IJTLD) is for clinical research and epidemiological studies on lung health, including articles on TB, TB-HIV and respiratory diseases such as COVID-19, asthma, COPD, child lung health and the hazards of tobacco and air pollution. Individuals and institutes can subscribe to the IJTLD online or in print – simply email us at [email protected] for details.

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