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SAMJ: South African Medical Journal

On-line version ISSN 2078-5135
Print version ISSN 0256-9574

Abstract

FIRTH, G B et al. Extraspinal osteoarticular multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in children: A case series. SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. [online]. 2017, vol.107, n.11, pp.983-986. ISSN 2078-5135.  http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/samj.2017.v107i11.12577.

BACKGROUND. South Africa (SA) is known to have a high disease burden of tuberculosis (TB). Extraspinal osteoarticular multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (ESOA MDR-TB) in children has only been described in a few case reports worldwide. OBJECTIVES. To describe the epidemiology and highlight the potential problem of ESOA MDR-TB infections as seen in children from a single academic hospital in SA. METHODS. A retrospective record review was performed on all children diagnosed with ESOA TB infection at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital, Johannesburg, between 1 January 2006 and 31 December 2015. All patients with a positive TB culture (fluid or tissue) from the surgical site of biopsy (bone or joint) and who were hospitalised were included. Organism culture and drug sensitivity testing were performed. RESULTS. Overall 19 cases of ESOA TB were identified. Areas involved included the shoulder (2 cases), elbow (2 cases), hip (7 cases), knee (4 cases), ankle (3 cases) and humerus (1 case). The mean age of the population was 7.7 (range 2.0 - 14.0) years. The mean white cell count was 11.3 (range 5 - 28.9) × 109/L, the mean C-reactive protein level 53.8 (range 1.0 - 364.0) mg/L and the mean erythrocyte sedimentation rate 35.5 (range 4.0 - 85.0) mm/h. Two cases (10.5%) were MDR, and a further case (5.3%) was resistant to isoniazid only. Four of 12 patients tested positive for HIV. One of the HIV-positive patients was isoniazid resistant. The two positive ESOA MDR-TB cases are discussed in detail. CONCLUSIONS. These findings indicate that ESOA MDR-TB is a reality in this paediatric population (10.5%) and a high index of suspicion should be maintained, especially when cultures are negative in children with signs and symptoms of ESOA TB. The effect of HIV infection on the incidence of ESOA MDR-TB requires further study.

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