Objectives: The present study characterized and determined the prevalence of mycobacterial diseases (tuberculosis (TB) and non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM)) as a cause of hospitalization among HIV-infected subjects consecutively admitted to a large metropolitan hospital during 2001/2002.
Methods: Hospital discharge diagnoses were established for 521 HIV-positive patients.
Results: Respiratory disease accounted for 49% of the admissions. Community acquired pneumonia (CAP) was the main cause of respiratory disease (52%) followed by Pneumocystis carinii (PCP, 24%), non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM, 11%) and Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB, 9%). Mycobacterium tuberculosis disease was established using bacteriological, clinical and radiographic criteria. NTM disease was defined following the American Thoracic Society criteria. NTM was disseminated in the majority of cases (19 Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC), one Mycobacterium kansasii). Nine patients had respiratory disease (seven MAC, one Mycobacterium fortuitum, one Mycobacterium kansasii) and one had gastrointestinal disease caused by MAC. Mortality was 10% for NTM disseminated cases; none of the TB patients died over the course of the study. The length of hospitalization for NTM patients was longer (15+/-13 days) than for other respiratory cases (10+/-10, p=0.04).
Conclusions: NTM disease along with its related mortality is a significant pathology as a cause of hospitalization among HIV-infected individuals.