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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 52  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 100-107

Drug-resistant spinal tuberculosis

1 Department of Orthopaedics, University College of Medical Sciences, GTB Hospital, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Microbiology, University College of Medical Sciences, GTB Hospital, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Anil K Jain
University College of Medical Sciences and GTB Hospital, New Delhi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ortho.IJOrtho_306_17

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Drug-resistant spinal tuberculosis (TB) is an emerging health problem in both developing and developed countries. In this review article, we aim to define management protocols for suspicion, diagnosis, and treatment of such patients. Spinal TB is a deep-seated paucibacillary lesion, and the demonstration of acid-fast bacilli on Ziehl-Neelsen staining is possible only in 10%–30% of cases. Drug resistance is suspected in patients showing the failure of clinicoradiological improvement or appearance of a fresh lesion of osteoarticular TB while on anti tubercular therapy (ATT) for a minimum period of 5 months. The conventional culture of Mycobacterium tuberculosis remains the gold standard for both bacteriological diagnosis and drug sensitivity testing (DST); however, the high turn around time of 2–6 weeks for detection with added 3 weeks for DST is a major limitation. To overcome this problem, rapid culture methods and molecular methods have been introduced. From a public health perspective, reducing the period between diagnosis and treatment initiation has direct benefits for both the patient and the community. For all patients of drug-resistant spinal TB, a complete Drug-O-Gram should be prepared which includes details of all drugs, their doses, and duration. Patients with confirmed multidrug-resistant TB strains should receive a regimen with at least five effective drugs, including pyrazinamide and one injectable. Patients with resistance to additional antitubercular drugs should receive individualized ATT as per their DST results.

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