Basis for Treatment of Tuberculosis among HIV-Infected Patients in Tanzania: The Role of Chest X-Ray and Sputum Culture
Arbeit, Robert D.
Cole, Bernard F.
Horsburgh, C. Robert
von Reyn, C. Fordham
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CitationBakari, Muhammad, Robert D Arbeit, Lillian Mtei, Johnson Lyimo, Richard Waddell, Mecky Matee, Bernard F Cole, Susan Tvaroha, C Robert Horsburgh, Hanna Soini, Kisali Pallangyo, C Fordham von Reyn. "Basis for treatment of tuberculosis among HIV-infected patients in Tanzania: the role of chest x-ray and sputum culture." BMC Infectious Diseases 8:32. (2008)
BACKGROUND: Active tuberculosis (TB) is common among HIV-infected persons living in tuberculosis endemic countries, and screening for tuberculosis (TB) is recommended routinely. We sought to determine the role of chest x-ray and sputum culture in the decision to treat for presumptive TB using active case finding in a large cohort of HIV-infected patients. METHODS: Ambulatory HIV-positive subjects with CD4 counts ≥ 200/mm3 entering a Phase III TB vaccine study in Tanzania were screened for TB with a physical examination, standard interview, CD4 count, chest x-ray (CXR), blood culture for TB, and three sputum samples for acid fast bacillus (AFB) smear and culture. RESULTS: Among 1176 subjects 136 (12%) were treated for presumptive TB. These patients were more frequently male than those without treatment (34% vs. 25%, respectively; p = 0.049) and had lower median CD4 counts (319/μL vs. 425/μL, respectively; p < .0001). Among the 136 patients treated for TB, 38 (28%) had microbiologic confirmation, including 13 (10%) who had a normal CXR and no symptoms. There were 58 (43%) treated patients in whom the only positive finding was an abnormal CXR. Blood cultures were negative in all patients. CONCLUSION: Many ambulatory HIV-infected patients with CD4 counts ≥ 200/mm3 are treated for presumptive TB. Our data suggest that optimal detection requires comprehensive evaluation, including CXR and sputum culture on both symptomatic and asymptomatic subjects.
RightsCopyright 2008 Bakari et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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