Objectives: To assess the perinatal outcome of pregnancies complicated by active pulmonary tuberculosis.
Methods: The perinatal outcome of 79 gravidas with pulmonary tuberculosis was compared with that of 316 normal gravidas of similar age, parity and socioeconomic status.
Results: The mean birthweight of infants (2649 g) born to tuberculous mothers was 215 g less than that of control group (P < 0.001). Pulmonary tuberculosis was associated with an approximate 2-fold increase in prematurity (22.8% vs. 11.1%, P < 0.01), small for gestational age (20.2% vs. 7.9%, P < 0.005) and low birthweight neonates (34.2% vs. 16.5%, P < 0.001), and 6-fold increase in perinatal deaths (10.1% vs. 1.6%, P < 0.001). The adverse perinatal outcome was pronounced in cases with late diagnosis, incomplete and irregular treatment, and advanced pulmonary lesions.
Conclusions: Maternal tuberculosis is a high-risk perinatal condition. The study emphasizes the need for early diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis, preferably before pregnancy, regular medical supervision and good perinatal care for tuberculous mothers.