New approaches are needed in the treatment of multidrug-resistant and extensively drug-resistant pulmonary tuberculosis (M/XDR-PTB). We evaluated the role of adjunctive surgical therapy in the treatment of M/XDR-PTB in the setting of directly observed treatment strategy (DOTS)-Plus implementation.
We conducted an observational cohort study consisting of M/XDR-PTB patients who underwent thoracic surgery at the National Tuberculosis Center in Tbilisi, Georgia between October 2008 and February 2011. Indications for surgery included presence of M/XDR-PTB, localized pulmonary disease, fit to undergo surgery, and either medical treatment failure or such extensive drug resistance that failure was likely. Second-line anti-tuberculosis medical therapy was administered per World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations.
Seventy-five patients (51 MDR, 24 XDR) with PTB underwent adjunctive thoracic surgery. Median age was 30 years and average duration of preoperative M/XDR-PTB medical therapy was 342 days. The following surgical procedures were performed: pneumonectomy (11%), lobectomy (54%), and segmentectomy (35%). Mean postoperative follow-up time was 372 days. Of 72 patients with evaluable outcomes, 59 (82%) had favorable outcomes including 90% of MDR and 67% of XDR-TB patients. There was no postoperative mortality; postoperative complications occurred in 7 patients (9%). Risk factors for poor treatment outcomes in univariate analysis included bilateral disease, XDR, increasing effective drugs received, positive preoperative sputum culture, and major postoperative surgical complication.
Patients with M/XDR-PTB undergoing adjunctive thoracic surgery had high rates of favorable outcomes, no surgical-related mortality, and low rates of complications. Adjunctive surgery appears to play an important role in the treatment of select patients with M/XDR-PTB.