Tuberc Respir Dis.  2000 Aug;49(2):169-178. 10.4046/trd.2000.49.2.169.

Clinical characteristics of pulmonary tuberculosis presenting prolonged fever despite primary short-course anti-tuberculosis treatment

Abstract

BACKGROUND
Usually fever subsides within one week in over 90% of pulmonary tuberculosis (TBp) patients after the start of short-course anti-tuberculosis therapy, but occasionally it persists over two weeks after treatment. When the fever persists, drug resistance, combined infection, or drug fever, and so on, are considered as an etiology and, in some cases, drugs are changed. But inadvertent discontinuation of a short-course regimen inevitably will extend the duration of treatment, and the treatment completion may be delayed. This study was performed to investigate the causes of prolonged fever (PF) and to identify the predictors of PF in drug-susceptible TBp patients in Korea. METHOD: five hundred-ninety-eight patients, who were admitted to Asan Medical Center from January 1996 to March 1999, diagnosed with TBp and prescribed short-course, anti-tuberculosis treatment, were reviewed. PF was difined as having fever over two weeks despite treatment. The causes of PF were ansalyzed. Drug-susceptible TBp patients who presented no caussp es for PF, except turberculosis itself, were selected(n=22), and they were compared with those who had no fever at diagnosis(n=22) and those who had fever at diagnosis, which had subsided within two weeks after treatment(n=22). Clinical, laboratory, and radiological parameters were compared among the three groups.
RESULTS
Twenty-eight(4.8%) of 598 patients showed PF over two weeks despite short-course treatment. the causes of PF were drug fever (n=2), multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (n=3), disseminated Mycobacterium Kansasii infection (n=1), and drug-susceptible tuberculosis itself (n=22). The patients with PF had more risk factors for tuberculosis, long duration of symptoms before treatment, night sweats, weight loss, numerous acid fast bacilli on sputum smear, anemia, hyponatremia, hypoalbuminemia, over three lung cavity numbers and extensive infiltratoion, indicating that they had prolonged and extensive lung diseases.
CONCLUSION
The main cause of PF in TBp despite short-course regimen seems to be drug-susceptible but extensive disease in Korea. Any changes to the drug regiment provided for TBp patients with prolonged fever despite treatment should be carefully considered.

Keyword

Fever; Prolonged fever; Pulmonary tuberculosis; Treatment
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