Pulmonary impairment after tuberculosis

Jotam G. Pasipanodya, Thaddeus L. Miller, Mauricio Vecino, Guadalupe Munguia, Robert Garmon, Sejong Bae, Gerry Drewyer, Stephen E. Weis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

128 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Pulmonary impairment subsequent to a cure of pulmonary tuberculosis has been described only in selected populations. Methods: We compared pulmonary function in a case-control study of 107 prospectively identified patients with pulmonary tuberculosis who had completed at least 20 weeks of therapy and 210 patients with latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI). Results: Both groups had similar risk factors for pulmonary impairment. Impairment was present in 59% of tuberculosis subjects and 20% of LTBI control subjects. FVC, FEV1, FEV1/FVC ratio, and the midexpiratory phase of forced expiratory flow were significandy lower in the treated pulmonary tuberculosis patients than in the comparison group. Ten patients with a history of pulmonary tuberculosis (9.4%) had less than half of their expected vital capacity vs one patient (0.53%) in the LTBI group. Another 42 patients (39%) with tuberculosis had between 20% and 50% of the expected vital capacity vs 36 patients with LTBI (17%). After adjusting for risk, survivors of tuberculosis were 5.4 times more likely to have abnormal pulmonary function test results than were LTBI patients (p > 0.001; 95% confidence interval, 2.98 to 9.68). Birth in the United States (odds ratio [OR], 2.64; p = 0.003) and age (OR, 1.03; p = 0.005) increased the odds of impairment. Pulmonary impairment was more common in cigarette smokers; however, after adjusting for demographic and other risk factors, the difference did not reach statistical significance (p = 0.074). Conclusions: These findings indicate that pulmonary impairment after tuberculosis is associated with disability worldwide and support more aggressive case prevention strategies and posttreatment evaluation. For many persons with tuberculosis, a microbiological cure is the beginning not the end of their illness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1817-1824
Number of pages8
JournalChest
Volume131
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2007

Keywords

  • Disability
  • Impairment
  • Pulmonary function
  • Tuberculosis

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