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The Association Between Sputum Culture Conversion and Mortality in Cavitary Mycobacterium avium Complex Pulmonary Disease.

Chest 2024 March 19
BACKGROUND: The association between treatment outcome and the mortality of Mycobacterium avium complex pulmonary disease (MAC-PD) with cavitary lesions is unclear. This article assessed the impact of culture conversion on mortality in patients with cavitary MAC-PD.

RESEARCH QUESTION: Is the achievement of sputum culture conversion in MAC-PD with cavitary lesions associated with the prognosis?

STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: From 2002 to 2020, a total of 351 patients with cavitary MAC-PD (105 with the fibrocavitary type and 246 with the cavitary nodular bronchiectatic type), who had been treated with a ≥ 6-month macrolide-containing regimen at a tertiary referral center in the Republic of Korea, were retrospectively enrolled in this study. All-cause mortality during the follow-up period was analyzed based on culture conversion at the time of treatment completion.

RESULTS: The cohort had a median treatment duration of 14.7 months (interquartile range [IQR], 13.4-16.8 months). Of the 351 patients, 69.8% (245 of 351) achieved culture conversion, and 30.2% (106 of 351) did not. The median follow-up was 4.4 years (IQR, 2.3-8.3 years) in patients with culture conversion and 3.1 years (IQR, 2.1-4.8 years) in those without. For the patients with and without culture conversion, all-cause mortality was 5.3% vs 35.8% (P < .001), and the 5-year cumulative mortality was 20.0% vs 38.4%, respectively. Cox analysis found that a lack of culture conversion was significantly associated with higher mortality (adjusted hazard ratio, 5.73; 95% CI, 2.86-11.50). Moreover, the 2-year landmark analysis revealed a distinct impact of treatment outcome on mortality.

INTERPRETATION: The mortality rate of patients with cavitary MAC-PD who did not achieve culture conversion was significantly higher than that of those with culture conversion.

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