Centre National pour la Tuberculose et les Maladies Pulmonaires

Favorable outcomes for multidrug and extensively drug resistant tuberculosis patients undergoing surgery

Vashakidze S, Gogishvili S, Nikolaishvili K, Dzidzikashvili N, Tukvadze N, Blumberg HM, Kempker RR

Ann Thorac Surg. 2013 Jun;95(6):1892-8



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.

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