Background: Although Mycobacterium avium complex pulmonary disease (MAC-PD) is a growing health problem, little is known about long-term radiographic outcome and factors for deterioration in patients with MAC-PD.
Methods: Data on patients with nodular bronchiectatic (NBE) MAC-PD who underwent regular follow-up for >5 years were retrospectively reviewed. Changes in plain chest radiograph (CXR) and baseline characteristics were compared between the stable and deteriorated groups.
Results: Seventy-two patients were investigated, including 30 patients who were examined 10 years after the initial visit. One patient (1.4%) showed progressive or remarkably progressive disease on CXR at 1 year; this rate increased to 22.2% at 5 years and to 53.3% at 10 years. Body mass index (BMI) at the initial visit was lower in the deteriorated group than in the stable group. Cavitary disease and resistance to a macrolide were seen more frequently at the initial visit in the deteriorated group than in the stable group.
Conclusions: NBE MAC-PD is a slowly but substantially progressive long-term infection (5-10 years). Our data suggest that patients with lower BMI, cavitary disease and resistance to a macrolide at initial visit are more likely to progress to deteriorating disease.