High Rates of Treatment Success in Pulmonary Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis by Individually Tailored Treatment Regimens

Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2016 Aug;13(8):1271-8. doi: 10.1513/AnnalsATS.201512-845OC.


Rationale: We evaluated whether treatment outcomes for patients with multidrug-resistant and extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis can be substantially improved when sufficient resources for personalizing medical care are available.

Objectives: To describe the characteristics and outcomes of patients with pulmonary multidrug-resistant tuberculosis at the Otto Wagner Hospital in Vienna, Austria.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective single-center study of patients initiated on treatment for multi-drug resistant tuberculosis between January 2003 and December 2012 at the Otto Wagner Hospital, Vienna, Austria. The records of patients with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis were reviewed for epidemiological, clinical, laboratory, treatment, and outcome data.

Measurements and main results: Ninety patients with pulmonary multidrug-resistant tuberculosis were identified. The median age was 30 years (interquartile range, 26-37). All patients were of non-Austrian origin, and 70 (78%) came from former states of the Soviet Union. Thirty-nine (43%) patients had multidrug-resistant tuberculosis; 28 (31%) had additional bacillary resistance to at least one second-line injectable drug and 9 (10%) to a fluoroquinolone. Fourteen (16%) patients had extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis. Eighty-eight different drug combinations were used for the treatment of the 90 patients. Surgery was performed on 10 (11.1%) of the patients. Sixty-five (72.2%) patients had a successful treatment outcome, 8 (8.9%) defaulted, 3 (3.3%) died, 8 (8.9%) continued treatment in another country and their outcome was unknown, and 6 (6.7%) were still on therapy. None of the patients experienced treatment failure. Treatment outcomes for patients with extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis were similar to those of patients with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis.

Conclusions: High rates of treatment success can be achieved in patients with multidrug-resistant and extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis when individually tailored treatment regimens can be provided in a high-resource setting.

Keywords: drug resistance; multidrug-resistant tuberculosis; outcome; treatment; tuberculosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antitubercular Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Austria
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Drug Resistance, Multiple, Bacterial
  • Extensively Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Precision Medicine / methods*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Surgical Procedures, Operative
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / therapy*


  • Antitubercular Agents