Background: Tuberculosis (TB) is a worldwide infectious disease. Recently, standard therapy has become very effective for treating patients with TB; however, as a result of this powerful regimen, serious side effects have become an important problem. The aim of this prospective study was to evaluate the usefulness of the drug lymphocyte stimulation test (DLST) to determine anti-TB drugs causing side effects.
Method: Four hundred thirty-six patients with TB were admitted to our hospital for treatment between January 2002 and August 2007. DLST was performed in patients who had certain adverse drug reactions during TB treatment. The causative drug was identified by the drug provocation test (DPT). The tested drugs were mainly isoniazid (INH), rifampin (RIF), ethambutol (EMB) and pyrazinamide (PZA).
Results: Of 436 patients, 69 patients (15.8%) had certain adverse drug reactions to anti-TB drugs. Of the 261 agents that underwent the DLST and DPT, 28 agents (10.7%) in 20 patients (28.9%) were positive by DLST, and 67 agents (25.7%) in 46 patients (66.6%) were identified as causative drugs by DPT. The sensitivity of DLST was only 14.9% for all drugs (INH, 14.3%; RIF, 13.6%; EMB, 14.3%; PZA, 0%).
Conclusions: DLST offers little contribution to the detection of causative agents in patients with adverse anti-TB drug reactions.