Treatment of pulmonary disease caused by Mycobacterium kansasii: results of 18 vs 12 months' chemotherapy

Tuber Lung Dis. 1995 Apr;76(2):104-8. doi: 10.1016/0962-8479(95)90550-2.


Setting: Chest Clinic, Sant Pau Hospital, Barcelona, Spain.

Objective: To assess the therapeutic response of pulmonary disease due to Mycobacterium kansasii to 12 and 18 months of chemotherapy.

Design: 28 patients with criteria of pulmonary disease caused by M. kansasii not associated with HIV-infection were identified in our department in the period 1985-91 (24 male, 4 female, mean age 56 +/- 12 years). 14 patients were treated with rifampicin-isoniazid-ethambutol daily for 12 months (ethambutol only for the first 6 months), and 14 with the same regimen for 18 months. The follow-up after treatment was 12-30 months.

Results: All patients showed improvement of radiographic manifestation of disease and sputum conversion (mean time: 4.5 +/- 2 months). The adverse drug effects were minimal. No failures were detected, and only one patient (3.5%), in the group of 12-month chemotherapy, relapsed after finishing the treatment.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that pulmonary disease due to M. kansasii has an effective response to 12-month chemotherapy regimen and that it is not necessary to prolong the administration of ethambutol for more than 6 months.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antitubercular Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Ethambutol / administration & dosage
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Isoniazid / administration & dosage
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mycobacterium Infections, Nontuberculous / drug therapy*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Rifampin / administration & dosage
  • Time Factors
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / drug therapy*


  • Antitubercular Agents
  • Ethambutol
  • Isoniazid
  • Rifampin