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Free Content Evaluation of serum inflammatory biomarkers as predictors of treatment outcome in pulmonary tuberculosis

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OBJECTIVE: To evaluate C-reactive protein (CRP), globulin and white blood cell (WBC) count as predictors of treatment outcome in pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB).

METHODS: An observational study of patients with active PTB was conducted at a tertiary centre. All patients had serum CRP, globulin and WBC measured at baseline and at 2 months following commencement of treatment. The outcome of interest was requirement for extension of treatment beyond 6 months.

RESULTS: There were 226 patients included in the study. Serum globulin >45 g/l was the only baseline biomarker evaluated that independently predicted requirement for treatment extension (OR 3.42, 95%CI 1.59–7.32, P < 0.001). An elevated globulin level that failed to normalise at 2 months was also associated with increased requirement for treatment extension (63.9% vs. 5.1%, P < 0.001), and had a low negative likelihood ratio (0.07) for exclusion of requirement for treatment extension. On multivariable analysis, an elevated globulin that failed to normalise at 2 months was independently associated with requirement for treatment extension (OR 6.13, 95%CI 2.23–16.80, P < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: Serum globulin independently predicts requirement for treatment extension in PTB and outperforms CRP and WBC as a predictive biomarker. Normalisation of globulin at 2 months following treatment commencement is associated with low risk of requirement for treatment extension.
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Keywords: biomarker; outcome; tuberculosis

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Chest and Allergy Department, St Mary's Hospital, Imperial College NHS Trust, London, UK 2: Chest and Allergy Department, St Mary's Hospital, Imperial College NHS Trust, London, UK; Tuberculosis Immunology Group, Imperial College London, London, UK 3: Tayside Respiratory Research Group, University of Dundee, Dundee, UK

Publication date: December 1, 2016

More about this publication?
  • 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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