Yonsei medical journal

Treatment response and adverse reactions in older tuberculosis patients with immunocompromising comorbidities.

PMID 23918574


The aim of this study was to elucidate the effects of immunocompromising comorbidities on treatment response and adverse reactions in older tuberculosis (TB) patients. The medical records of 182 patients older than 65 years with proven TB by positive culture of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and with available drug susceptibility tests were reviewed retrospectively. These patients were subsequently assigned to either the comorbidity group (n=78) or non-comorbidity group (n=104) depending on whether they had immunocompromising comorbidities. The mean durations of treatment were 9.9 ± 3.3 months in the comorbidity group and 9.3 ± 3.2 months in the non-comorbidity group (p=0.21). M. tuberculosis culture results converted to negative in most patients with available follow-up cultures at two months after treatment. The successful treatment rates were 94.9% and 98.9% in the comorbidity and non-comorbidity groups, respectively (p=0.30). The most common side effects of anti-TB treatment were skin rash/pruritus (13% in the comorbidity group vs. 11% in the non-comorbidity group, p=0.79), gastro-intestinal problems (14% vs. 9%, p=0.25) and hepatotoxicity (14% vs. 7%, p=0.09). The present study shows that the successful treatment rate for TB is high and that immunocompromising comorbidities have no effect on the response to treatment and adverse effects in older TB patients.