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Surgical treatment for multidrug-resistant and extensive drug-resistant tuberculosis.

BACKGROUND: Multidrug-resistant (MDR) and extensive drug-resistant (XDR) tuberculosis (TB) are still significant health problems. Surgical resection is an adjunctive intervention for patients with MDR or XDR TB. This study presents the short-term and long-term results of surgical treatment for MDR or XDR TB at a single center.

METHODS: Between May 1996 and March 2008, surgical resection was performed on 72 patients with MDR or XDR TB at a single institution. Among these patients, 26 patients (36%) had XDR TB. All patients received multidrug regimens preoperatively and postoperatively. The preoperative sputum smears and cultures were positive in 52 patients (72%) and 58 patients (81%), respectively. The indications for surgery included failure of medical treatment in 51 patients (71%), localized disease or persistent cavity with high probability of relapse in 17 patients (24%), and combined complications such as hemoptysis in 4 patients (5%).

RESULTS: Thirty-eight patients (53%) had a lobectomy with or without segmentectomy or wedge resection, 23 patients (32%) had pneumonectomies, 10 patients received segmentectomies, and 1 patient had multiple wedge resections. There was one postoperative death that was attributable to a thoracic empyema. Eight (11%) postoperative complications occurred, including empyema in 5 patients, bleeding in 2 patients, and postpneumonectomy syndrome in 1 patient. A favorable outcome was achieved in 65 patients (90%) after surgical resection. The favorable outcome rates did not differ significantly between patients with MDR TB and those with XDR TB (93% versus 85%; p = 0.244).

CONCLUSIONS: Early pulmonary resection combined with chemotherapy had high cure rates with acceptable complications and preservation of the lung parenchyma in MDR TB and XDR TB.

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