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Management and outcome of chemotherapy for childhood tuberculosis. Medical Research Council Tuberculosis and Chest Diseases Unit.


The management and outcome of chemotherapy is reported for 393 children with tuberculosis notified in 1983 (191 (49%) of white, 155 (39%) of Indian, Pakistani, or Bangladeshi, and 47 (12%) of other ethnic origins). Most (313) had respiratory disease, 65 had extrathoracic lymph node disease, and 15 had both. Only 15 (4%) of the 390 children for whom information was available did not complete chemotherapy, 10 because of default. All except 23 (6%) of the children known to have completed chemotherapy received isoniazid and rifampicin, 194 (52%) without additional drugs, 126 (34%) with ethambutol, eight (2%) with pyrazinamide, and seven (2%) with both drugs in the initial phase. The median duration of treatment was nine months. At the time they were last seen, all except six of the 375 children who completed chemotherapy were classified by the clinician as cured either on the primary course of chemotherapy (348, 93%) or after modification for failure or relapse (11.3%), or toxicity (10.3%). The remaining children were still on treatment for relapse (n = 2) or had defaulted from follow up (n = 4).

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