Nontuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) lung diseases present formidable obstacles to successful management, especially when compared with tuberculosis, beginning with diagnosis and extending through treatment. Factors peculiar to NTM disease such as extensive microbial resistance mechanisms and difficult to interpret, even misleading, in vitro drug susceptibility patterns are just two of the multiple and frustrating clinical management challenges. More conventional problems such as drug-drug interactions, medication side-effects, and nonadherence with therapy add further impediments to successful outcomes. In spite of these difficulties, the majority of NTM lung disease patients are still treated successfully. Because the prevalence of NTM is rising, it is increasingly necessary for clinicians to understand those unique aspects of NTM lung disease diagnosis and treatment that differ from tuberculosis and that contribute to limited treatment options.
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