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Ann Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2011;17(2):143-7.

Surgery offers high cure rates in multidrug-resistant tuberculosis.

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Department of Thoracic Surgery, Celal Bayar University, Faculty of Medicine, Manisa, Turkey.



Drug resistance has become a major problem in the treatment of tuberculosis, and pulmonary resection in combination with chemotherapy appears to be an effective measure for the treatment. The purpose of this study was to investigate the results of resection for multidrug-resistant pulmonary tuberculosis (MDR-TB).


We retrospectively reviewed case files from January 2003 to December 2006 of 13 patients with MDR-TB underwent pulmonary resection.


Of 13 patients, 7 (53.9%) were sputum positive for mycobacterium tuberculosis preoperatively, though after surgery, they were sputum negative. Lobectomy was performed in 8 (61.5%) and pneumonectomy, in 5 (38.5%). In the lobectomy group, 2 patients had an additional superior segmentectomy and 1 had a middle lobectomy for other segmental or lobar lesions. Operative mortality was 7.6% (1/13). There were no late surgical deaths. In the early postoperative period, 3 patients had serious complications (postoperative bleeding, prolonged air leak, expansion deficit, bronchopleural fistula and empyema) that were resolved with surgery (morbidity 23.0%). The 12 patients who survived the operation received appropriate chemotherapy and were followed up for 24-37 months. None of the patients relapsed, and the overall cure rate was 92.3% (12/13).


Even with high morbidity in the early post-operative period, surgery, in addition to medical therapy, offers higher cure rates than only medical therapy; however, meticulous preoperative evaluation of patients is needed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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