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Rural Remote Health. 2009 Jan-Mar;9(1):926. Epub 2009 Feb 27.

Outcomes of different subgroups of smear-positive retreatment patients under RNTCP in rural West Bengal, India.

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State TB Training and Demonstration Centre, Medical College and Hospital, Kolkata, India.



This record-based study was undertaken at Bagula Tuberculosis Unit, Nadia, West Bengal, India to compare outcomes among sputum-positive TB retreatment patient groups (relapse, failure and treatment after default) at completion of therapy, under the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Program (RNTCP).


A total of 234 registered cases of TB retreatment (category II) between January 1999 and June 2005 were analysed and compared by Z-test for proportion.


There was a uniform distribution in terms of age, grades of sputum positivity and sputum conversion at 2 and 3 months among the three groups. In spite of this, a favourable outcome was most likely for relapse cases, and cases with a low grade of sputum positivity in all three subgroups. Unfavourable outcome was most likely among the treatment failure subgroup and those with high grades of sputum positivity.


The results are likely to be due to an increased incidence of multi-drug resistant TB in these patients. In rural areas of the developing world, as in India, there is a heavy burden of TB and resources are limited. Culture and drug sensitivity patterns prior to commencing therapy should be performed for failure and default patients who present with an initially high load of bacilli in their sputum.

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