Successful treatment of Mycobacterium celatum pulmonary disease in an immunocompetent patient using antimicobacterial chemotherapy and combined pulmonary resection

Hee-Jung Jun, Nam Yong Lee, Jhingook Kim, Won-Jung Koh
Yonsei Medical Journal 2010, 51 (6): 980-3
Mycobacterium celatum is a nontuberculous mycobacterium that rarely causes pulmonary disease in immunocompetent subjects. We describe the successful treatment of M. celatum lung disease with antimicobacterial chemotherapy and combined pulmonary resection. A 33-year-old woman was referred to our hospital with a 3-month history of a productive cough. Her medical history included pulmonary tuberculosis 14 years earlier. Her chest X-ray revealed a large cavitary lesion in the left upper lobe. The sputum smear was positive for acid-fast bacilli, and M. celatum was subsequently identified in more than three sputum cultures, using molecular methods. After 1 year of therapy with clarithromycin, ethambutol, and ciprofloxacin, the patient underwent a pulmonary resection for a persistent cavitary lesion. The patient was considered cured after receiving 12 months of postoperative antimycobacterial chemotherapy. There has been no recurrence of disease for 18 months after treatment completion. In summary, M. celatum is an infrequent cause of potentially treatable pulmonary disease in immunocompetent subjects. Patients with M. celatum pulmonary disease who can tolerate resectional surgery might be considered for surgery, especially in cases of persistent cavitary lesions despite antimycobacterial chemotherapy.

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