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Interact Cardiovasc Thorac Surg. 2013 Sep;17(3):455-9. doi: 10.1093/icvts/ivt251. Epub 2013 Jun 7.

Pulmonary resection in the treatment of 43 patients with well-localized, cavitary pulmonary multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in Shanghai.

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Department of Thoracic Surgery, Shanghai Pulmonary Hospital, Tongji University, Shanghai, China.



Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB), defined as tuberculosis resistant to at least isoniazid and rifampicin in vitro, poses a significant challenge to the control of TB worldwide. Despite global efforts to control tuberculosis, it remains the leading cause of death from an infectious agent. Although modern tuberculosis treatment relies on chemotherapy, surgery is accepted as adjuvant treatment for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis.


In a retrospective cohort study, 43 MDR-TB patients (28 males and 15 females: mean age 45.3 years) who underwent pulmonary resection between January 1993 and December 2011 were reviewed. Every patient with well-localized, cavitary lesions showed sputum-positive preoperatively. Individually tailored treatment regimens were selected at a once-weekly staff conference following review of the patient's case history and drug susceptibility results. The variables that affected treatment outcomes were identified through multivariate regression analysis.


There was no surgical mortality. Forty (93.0%) patients demonstrated sputum conversion and/or remained negative after surgery. Each patient had completed treatment, and during a mean of 81 follow-up months (range 18-214 months), 1 patient relapsed. This patient was cured after another course of treatment. Operative procedures included 30 (69.8%) lobectomies, 2 (4.7%) bilobectomies, 8 (18.6%) pneumonectomies and 3 (6.98%) lobectomies plus segmentectomy. There were no operation-related deaths, and there were five major postoperative complications (11.6%). Overall, 40 of 43 (93.0%) MDR-TB patients remained free of TB following surgery. The duration of chemotherapy before surgery had correlation with postoperative outcome (P = 0.001).


The proper selection of the patients and early decision for surgical intervention can achieve a high success rate of pulmonary MDR-TB with well-localized pulmonary cavities.


Multidrug resistant; Pulmonary cavity; Surgery; Tuberculosis

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