Characteristics and management of bone and joint tuberculosis in native and migrant population in Shanghai during 2011 to 2015

BMC Infect Dis. 2018 Nov 1;18(1):543. doi: 10.1186/s12879-018-3456-3.


Background: China had the third highest burden of tuberculosis population in the world. Bone and joint tuberculosis was a major part and its characteristics were rarely discussed before. This study was designed to review the characteristics and management of bone and joint tuberculosis among native and migrant population in Shanghai, China during 2011-2015.

Methods: A retrospective analysis of the patient clinical records on their demographic information, clinical features and treatment was conducted from three tertiary referral hospitals. Analysis of continuous variables included calculation of the median value with interquartile range. Categorical variables were displayed as percentages and compared using the Fisher's exact test and chi-square test. All continuous variables were compared using Student's unpaired t-test and Mann Whitney U test.

Results: One hundred fifteen patients with bone and joint tuberculosis were involved in this study. Native people were generally older (p = 0.003) and had more comorbidities like hypertension (40.74% vs. 16.39%, p = 0.004), diabetes mellitus (38.89% vs. 13.11%, p = 0.001), and cancer (31.48% vs. 14.75%, p = 0.032) than migrants. Migrant patients generally experienced a longer period of uncomfortable feelings before going to doctor than native people (p = 0.007). Spine was a major infection site in comparison with other peripheral joints. Radiological evaluation displayed increased osteolytic reaction in migrant patients compared with native people (p = 0.031). The mean time for anti-tuberculosis treatment was significantly longer in native Shanghai patients (8.96 months vs. 7.94 months, p = 0.003). The curative ratio displayed a significant difference between native and migrant patients (88.24%vs.75.93%, p = 0.009).

Conclusion: Bone and joint tuberculosis exhibited a poorer outcome in migrant people, who also had longer period of manifestation, more severe osteolytic reaction from CT scan and higher recurrent rate than native people. The surgical treatment in addition to anti-tuberculosis drug therapy had great implications for bone and joint tuberculosis recovery.

Keywords: Anti-tuberculosis; Bone and joint tuberculosis; Migrant; Native; Shanghai; Surgery.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • China / epidemiology
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sex Factors
  • Transients and Migrants*
  • Tuberculosis, Osteoarticular / epidemiology*
  • Tuberculosis, Osteoarticular / ethnology
  • Tuberculosis, Osteoarticular / therapy
  • Urban Population
  • Young Adult