Tuberculosis in patients with end-stage renal disease

Am J Med. 1980 Jan;68(1):59-65. doi: 10.1016/0002-9343(80)90166-7.


Ten patients with proved disease caused by Myocobacterium tuberculosis were identified over a 10 year period in a population of 172 adult patients undergoing long-term dialysis. The incidence of tuberculosis was 12 times greater than that prevailing in the general community during the period of the study and could not be accounted for solely by demographic factors. Diagnosis was obscured because the symptoms were nonspecific and attributable to uremia, intermediate strength (5 TU) tuberculin tests were often negative, the roentgenographic appearance of pulmonary disease was often atypical, and there was more frequent extrapulmonary involvement. Impaired cellular immunity due to advanced renal failure may predispose to the increased incidence of tuberculosis and the greater frequency of extrapulmonary disease observed. Treatment was safe and effective in these patients using 300 mg of isoniazid and 8 to 10 mg/kg of ethambutol daily. Eight patients survived longer than one year following the diagnosis of tuberculosis, and all were clinically cured. No deaths were directly attributed to tuberculosis. A high index of suspicion and aggressive evaluation may be necessary to diminish the significant mortality described previously in association with disseminated disease.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Ethambutol / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Cellular
  • Isoniazid / therapeutic use
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / complications*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pyrazinamide / therapeutic use
  • Renal Dialysis
  • Rifampin / therapeutic use
  • Risk
  • Tuberculosis / complications*
  • Tuberculosis / drug therapy
  • Tuberculosis / immunology


  • Pyrazinamide
  • Ethambutol
  • Isoniazid
  • Rifampin