Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2021 Mar 15:tpmd201134. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.20-1134. Online ahead of print.
In Pakistan, the treatment of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) with a shorter treatment regimen (STR), that is, 4-6 months of amikacin, moxifloxacin (Mfx), ethionamide, clofazimine (Cfz), pyrazinamide (Z), ethambutol (E), and high-dose isoniazid, followed by 5 months of Mfx, Cfz, Z, and E, was initiated in 2018. However, there is a lack of information about its effectiveness in Pakistani healthcare settings. Therefore, this retrospective record review of MDR-TB patients treated with STR at eight treatment sites in Pakistan aimed to fill this gap. Data were analyzed using SPSS 23. Multivariate binary logistic regression (MVBLR) analysis was conducted to find factors associated with death and treatment failure, and lost to follow-up (LTFU). A P-value < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Of 912 MDR-TB patients enrolled at the study sites, only 313 (34.3%) eligible patients were treated with STR and included in the current study. Of them, a total of 250 (79.9%) were cured, 12 (3.8%) completed treated, 31 (9.9%) died, 16 (5.1%) were LTFU, and four (1.3%) were declared as treatment failures. The overall treatment success rate was 83.7%. In MVBLR analysis, patients' age of 41-60 (odds ratio [OR] = 4.9, P-value = 0.020) and > 60 years (OR = 3.6, P-value = 0.035), being underweight (OR = 2.7, P-value = 0.042), and previous TB treatment (OR = 0.4, P-value = 0.042) had statistically significant association with death and treatment failure, whereas patients' age of > 60 years (OR = 5.4, P-value = 0.040) and previous TB treatment (OR = 0.2, P-value = 0.008) had statistically significant association with LTFU. The treatment success rate of STR was encouraging. However, to further improve the treatment outcomes, special attention should be paid to the patients with identified risk factors.