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Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2012 Mar 15;185(6):653-9. doi: 10.1164/rccm.201105-0850OC. Epub 2011 Dec 28.

A comparison between two strategies for monitoring hepatic function during antituberculous therapy.

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Department of Respiratory Medicine, St. Mary's Hospital, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, UK.



The optimum strategy for monitoring liver function during antituberculous therapy is unclear.


To assess the value of the American Thoracic Society risk-factor approach for predicting drug-induced liver injury and to compare with a uniform policy of liver function testing in all patients at 2 weeks.


We conducted an observational study of adult patients undergoing therapy for active tuberculosis at a tertiary center. All patients had alanine transferase measurement at baseline and 2 weeks following commencement of therapy. Sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values were used to assess strategies.


There were 288 patients included, and 21 (7.3%) developed drug-induced liver injury (57.1% "early" at 2 wk and 42.9% "late," after 2 wk). There were increased rates of individuals with HIV infection in the early drug-induced liver injury group compared with no drug-induced liver injury and late drug-induced liver injury groups (33% vs. 7.1% vs. 0%; P = 0.004). The American Thoracic Society algorithm had a sensitivity and specificity of 66.7 and 65.6%, respectively, for prediction of early and 22.2% and 63.7% for late drug-induced liver injury. The uniform monitoring policy had poor sensitivity but better specificity (22.2 and 82.1%) for prediction of late drug-induced liver injury.


In our urban, ethnically diverse population, a risk-factor approach is neither sensitive nor specific for prediction of drug-induced liver injury. A uniform policy of liver function testing at 2 weeks is useful for prompt identification of a subgroup who develop early drug-induced liver injury and may offer better specificity in ruling out late drug-induced liver injury.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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