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Pediatrics. 2006 Jun;117(6):2022-9.

Community-based therapy for children with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis.

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  • 1Social Medicine and Health Inequalities, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA 02120, USA.



The goals were to describe the management of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis among children, to examine the tolerability of second-line antituberculosis agents among children, and to report the outcomes of children treated for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in poor urban communities in Lima, Peru, a city with high tuberculosis prevalence.


A retrospective analysis of data for 38 children <15 years of age with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, either documented with drug sensitivity testing of the child's tuberculosis isolate or suspected on the basis of the presence of clinical symptoms for a child with a household contact with documented multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, was performed. All 38 children initiated a supervised individualized treatment regimen for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis between July 1999 and July 2003. Each child received 18 to 24 months of therapy with > or =5 first- or second-line drugs to which their Mycobacterium tuberculosis strain was presumed to be sensitive.


Forty-five percent of the children had malnutrition or anemia at the time of diagnosis, 29% had severe radiographic findings (defined as bilateral or cavitary disease), and 13% had extrapulmonary disease. Forty-five percent of the children were hospitalized initially because of the severity of illness. Adverse events were observed for 42% of the children, but no events required suspension of therapy for >5 days. Ninety-five percent of the children (36 of 38 children) achieved cures or probable cures, 1 child (2.5%) died, and 1 child (2.5%) defaulted from therapy.


Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis disease among children can be treated successfully in resource-poor settings. Treatment is well tolerated by children, and severe adverse events with second-line agents are rare.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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