The management of pulmonary tuberculosis notified in England and Wales in 1993

J R Coll Physicians Lond. 1997 Nov-Dec;31(6):662-5.


We have compared the management of 925 cases of pulmonary tuberculosis reported to the 1993 national tuberculosis notification survey with the recommended standards of treatment. Forty-eight per cent of patients were white, 36% came from the Indian subcontinent (ISC) and 15% were of other ethnic origin. Most patients (86%) were under the care of thoracic physicians. Sputum microscopy was positive in 44%, and culture confirmation was obtained in 64% of cases. Drug resistance was reported in 30/582 isolates (5%), ranging from 13% in Black-Africans to 4.5% in ISC ethnic groups and 2% in the whites, with none reported in those of Black-Caribbean origin. Almost all patients (94.5%) were started on a recommended drug combination, but only 74% continued to receive one, with thoracic physicians significantly more likely than other physicians to use a recommended combination. Non-standard durations of either initial and/or continuation phase therapy were used in 303 patients, but in only 167 was a satisfactory reason given for the modification. Definite or suspected drug toxicity was reported in 79 (9%) and was significantly more likely with non-standard regimens. Seventy-two patients died before the survey was carried out one year after their notification, only 15 of them directly due to tuberculosis. Of the 815 cases observed to treatment completion, 430 (53%) were then discharged. There were adequate reasons for follow-up after the end of treatment in all but 98 of those so managed. Although the results were satisfactory overall, continued efforts are required to increase the percentage of patients treated with evidence-based recommended regimens and durations of chemotherapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antitubercular Agents / therapeutic use
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • England / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tuberculosis, Multidrug-Resistant / drug therapy
  • Tuberculosis, Multidrug-Resistant / epidemiology
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / drug therapy
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / epidemiology*
  • Wales / epidemiology


  • Antitubercular Agents