Background: Over the past decade the incidence of pulmonary disease due to drug-resistant strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis has increased worldwide. We reviewed our local experience to clarify the benefits and risks of pulmonary resection in the management of drug-resistant strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
Methods: A retrospective review was performed of 62 patients undergoing pulmonary resection for drug-resistant strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis between January 1990 and November 1995.
Results: Fifty-three percent were men and 47% women with an average age of 34 years (range, 16 to 72 years). There was one postoperative death, for a perioperative (30-day) mortality of 1.6%. Sixteen complications occurred in 14 patients for an overall morbidity of 23%. Eighteen of 24 patients (75%) who were persistently sputum positive at the time of operation immediately converted to a negative sputum smear and culture. For all patients who were sputum negative after operation 80% remain relapse-free by actuarial analysis.
Conclusions: We believe that operation plays an important ancillary role in the treatment of drug-resistant strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The operation can be performed with acceptable morbidity and mortality and must be combined with appropriate and well-monitored pre- and postoperative antituberculous drug therapy.