[The treatment outcomes of 21 cases of rapidly growing mycobacteria related pulmonary disease]

Pin-ru Chen, Shou-yong Tan
Chinese Journal of Tuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases 2013, 36 (3): 182-5

OBJECTIVE: To explore the efficacy of the chemotherapeutic regimen with clarithromycin (CTM) and amikacin (AMK) as the main drugs in the therapy of rapidly growing mycobacteria (RGM) related pulmonary disease.

METHODS: The clinical efficacy of 21 patients with RGM related pulmonary disease was retrospectively analyzed from January 2008 to October 2011 in Guangzhou Chest Hospital. The individual chemotherapeutic regimen was mainly based on azithromycin (ATM) 0.5 g/d or CTM 0.5 - 1.0 g/d, AMK 0.4 - 0.6 g/d according to the medication history and antimicrobial susceptibility tests. After 6 months of treatment, symptomatic improvement, changes of imaging findings, sputum cultures and adverse effects were observed.

RESULTS: In the 21 cases of RGM related pulmonary disease, drug resistance to amikacin (9 cases) and clarithromycin (5 cases) were relatively low as compared to other antituberculous drugs. Lesions involving more than 3 lung fields were seen in 17 cases, cough and phlegm in 21, bloody sputum in 18, chest pain and shortness of breath in 15, and fever in 15 cases. After 2-week treatment, fever disappeared and shortness of breath improved in all the cases. Cough and phlegm improved in 12 and bloody sputum improved in 16 cases. After 6-month treatment, lesion absorption occurred in 12 cases, lung cavity became smaller in 9 cases and sputum culture became negative in 8 cases. Of the 16 cases sensitive to CTM, 11 was smear-negative, and of the 12 cases sensitive to AMK, 11 was smear-negative. Common adverse effects included gastrointestinal symptoms, liver damage and blood abnormalities.

CONCLUSIONS: Patients with RGM related pulmonary disease had low rates of drug resistance to CTM and AMK. However, individual chemotherapy regimen based on CTM and AMK showed unsatisfactory clinical efficacy. More sensitive drugs combined with potent chemotherapy regimen are needed for the treatment of this disease.

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