[Mycobacterium abscessus group lung disease: case reports and review of the literature]

Hong-fei Duan, Nai-hui Chu, Qing-feng Wang, Jing Wang, Hai-rong Huang, Qian Liang
Chinese Journal of Tuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases 2013, 36 (9): 671-4

OBJECTIVE: To analyze the clinical manifestations and efficacy of a combination antibiotic therapy including cefoxitin for Mycobacterium abscessus (M.abscessus) group lung disease.

METHODS: We retrospectively analyzed the clinical manifestations of 16 patients with M.abscessus group lung disease, and the responses of 5 cases treated with whole-course clarithromycin and moxifloxacin, initially intensified with intravenous amikacin and cefoxitin therapy for the first 12 weeks.

RESULTS: Radiological study showed that 14 patients with M.abscessus group pulmonary disease were classified as nodular bronchiectasis form, and 1 patient as upper lobe cavity form and 1 patient was unclassifiable. The radiological characteristics of M.abscessus group pulmonary disease included multiple micronodules (14/16), bronchiectasis (14/16), tree in bud sign (13/16), cavity (5/16), consolidation (5/16), nodules (5/16), and collapse of lung (3/16). Five cases were treated with a combination antibiotic therapy including cefoxitin. After 3 months treatment for the initial phase, 2 of them got improvement in symptoms, CT manifestations and sputum conversion. Two of them improved in symptoms and CT manifestations, but not in sputum conversion. One case showed no improvement in the initial phase, and continuation therapy also failed to improve symptoms, CT abnormalities or sputum conversion.

CONCLUSIONS: Nodular bronchiectasis is the main manifestation of M.abscessus group lung disease. The main imaging characteristics included multiple micronodules, bronchiectasis and tree in bud sign. A therapeutic regimen including cefoxitin may be moderately effective in treating M.abscessus group lung disease.

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