Mortality rates and recurrent rates of tuberculosis in patients with smear-negative pulmonary tuberculosis and tuberculous pleural effusion who have completed treatment
OBJECTIVE: To follow-up human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) seropositive and HIV-seronegative patients with smear-negative pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) and pleural TB who had completed treatment with two different regimens in Blantyre and Zomba, and to assess rates of mortality and recurrent TB.
DESIGN: Patients with smear-negative and pleural TB who had completed 8 months ambulatory treatment in Blantyre or 12 months standard treatment in Zomba and who were smear and culture negative for acid-fast bacilli at the completion of treatment were actively followed every 4 months for a total of 20 months.
RESULTS: Of 248 patients, 150 with smear-negative PTB and 98 with pleural TB, who completed treatment and were enrolled, 205 (83%) were HIV-positive. At 20 months, 145 (58%) patients were alive, 85 (34%) had died and 18 (7%) had transferred out of the district. The mortality rate was 25.7 per 100 person-years, with increased rates strongly associated with HIV infection and age >45 years. Forty-nine patients developed recurrent TB. The recurrence rate of TB was 16.1 per 100 person-years, with increased rates strongly associated with HIV infection, having smear-negative PTB and having received ‘standard treatment’.
CONCLUSION: High rates of mortality and recurrent TB were found in patients with smear-negative PTB and pleural effusion during 20 months of follow-up. TB programmes in sub-Saharan Africa must consider appropriate interventions, such as co-trimoxazole and secondary isoniazid prophylaxis, to reduce these adverse outcomes.
Document Type: Regular Paper
Affiliations: 1: College of Medicine, Chichiri, Blantyre, Malawi 2: College of Medicine, Chichiri, Blantyre, Malawi; and National Tuberculosis Control Programme, Ministry of Health, Lilongwe, Malawi 3: National Tuberculosis Control Programme, Ministry of Health, Lilongwe, Malawi 4: Global Tuberculosis Programme, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland
Publication date: October 1, 2000
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