Sputum conversion at the end of intensive phase of Category-1 regimen in the treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis patients with diabetes mellitus or HIV infection: An analysis of risk factors.

Banu Rekha, V.V.; Balasubramanian, R.; Swaminathan, S.; Ramachandran, R.; Rahman, F.; Sundaram, V.; Thyagarajan, K.; Selvakumar, N. ; Adhilakshmi, A.R. ; Iliayas, S.; Narayanan, P.R.

Indian Journal of Medical Research; 2007; 126; 452-458.

Background & objectives : New smear-positive pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) patients in the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP) are treated with a 6-month short-course chemotherapy (SCC) regimen irrespective of co-morbid conditions. We undertook this retrospective analysis to compare sputum conversion rates (smear, culture) at the end of intensive phase (IP) of Category-1 regimen among patients admitted to concurrent controlled clinical trials: pulmonary tuberculosis alone (PTB) or with type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM-TB) or HIV infection (HIV-TB), and to identify the risk factors influencing sputum conversion.

Methods : In this retrospective analysis sputum conversion rates at the end of intensive phase (IP) in three concurrent studies undertaken among PTB, DM-TB and HIV-TB patients, during 1998 2002 at the Tuberculosis Research Centre (TRC), Chennai, were compared. Sputum smears were examined by fluorescent microscopy. HIV infected patients did not receive anti-retroviral treatment (ART). Patients with DM were treated with oral hypoglycaemic drugs or insulin (sc).

Results : The study population included 98, 92 and 88 patients in the PTB, DM-TB and HIV-TB studies. At the end of IP the smear conversion (58, 61, and 62%) and culture conversion (86, 88 and 92%) rates were similar in the three groups respectively. The variables associated with lack of sputum smear or culture conversion were age >45 yr, higher pre-treatment smear and culture grading, and extent of the radiographic involvement.

Interpretation & conclusions : Our findings confirm that the current policy of the control programme to treat all pulmonary TB patients with or without co-morbid conditions with Category-I regimen appears to be appropriate .

Key words : Category-1 - diabetes mellitus - HIV - pulmonary tuberculosis - RNTCP - smear conversion


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