Treatment of nontuberculous mycobacterial infections in pediatric patients

Clin Pharm. 1988 Jul;7(7):545-51.


Two cases of Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare complex (MAC) infections are described, and the diagnosis, clinical features, and management of MAC infections are reviewed. In case 1, a four-year-old boy was diagnosed as having both acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and disseminated MAC infection. He was treated with a combination of isoniazid, ethambutol hydrochloride, rifabutin, and clofazimine. Results of susceptibility testing showed that the MAC was susceptible to rifabutin and ethambutol with intermediate susceptibility to isoniazid. The child developed severe adverse effects that necessitated the discontinuation of rifabutin therapy. Despite therapy, blood cultures remained positive for MAC. The child died of disseminated human immunodeficiency virus and MAC infection. In case 2, a 20-month-old girl was found to have a prevertebral retropharyngeal mass caused by MAC. The child did not have evidence of immunologic deficiency. She was treated with streptomycin, ethambutol, clofazimine, and rifabutin. Streptomycin was discontinued after three months. After seven months the mass decreased in size, allowing for surgical resection. Intraoperative cultures were negative for mycobacteria. Ethambutol, rifabutin, and clofazimine were continued for a total of 12 months, at which time the child was determined to be clinically and radiologically cured. Empiric multidrug antituberculous therapy should be initiated in patients with suspected disseminated nontuberculous mycobacterial infection because final isolation, identification, and susceptibility testing may take several weeks. Clofazimine and rifabutin, in combination with isoniazid and ethambutol, may be useful in the treatment of some MAC infections. At least four drugs are given, and regimens often consist of six drugs.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / complications*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Anti-Infective Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Ethambutol / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Isoniazid / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Mycobacterium Infections / drug therapy*
  • Mycobacterium Infections / etiology
  • Mycobacterium avium
  • Rifabutin
  • Rifampin / therapeutic use
  • Rifamycins / therapeutic use
  • Streptomycin / therapeutic use


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Rifamycins
  • Rifabutin
  • Ethambutol
  • Isoniazid
  • Rifampin
  • Streptomycin