Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Eur Respir J. 2009 Apr;33(4):871-81. doi: 10.1183/09031936.00168008. Epub 2009 Feb 27.

Epidemiology and clinical management of XDR-TB: a systematic review by TBNET.

Author information

  • 1Hygiene and Preventive Medicine Institute, University of Sassari, Sassari, Italy.


Extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) is present in all regions and poses serious challenges for public health and clinical management. Laboratory diagnosis is difficult and little evidence exists to guide clinicians in treating people with XDR-TB effectively. To summarise the available data on diagnosis and treatment, the current authors performed a systematic review on 13 recent studies of the epidemiology and clinical management of XDR-TB. Studies that met inclusion criteria were reviewed, in order to assess methodology, treatment regimens and treatment outcomes. Meta-analysis of currently available data is not possible because of inconsistent definitions and methodologies. Data show that XDR-TB can be successfully treated in up to 65% of patients, particularly those who are not co-infected with HIV. However, treatment duration is longer and outcomes are in general poorer than for non-XDR TB patients. To strengthen the evidence for extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis diagnosis, treatment and prevention, future studies should: 1) be prospective in design; 2) adopt standardised, internationally accepted definitions; 3) use quality-assured laboratory testing for all first- and second-line drugs; and 4) collect data on an agreed-upon set of standard variables, allowing for comparisons across studies. Early diagnosis and aggressive management of extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis provide the best chance of positive outcome, but prevention is still paramount.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Health
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk