Long-term efficacy of 6-month therapy with isoniazid and rifampin compared with isoniazid, rifampin, and pyrazinamide treatment for pleural tuberculosis

  • José Francisco García-RodríguezEmail author
  • N. Valcarce-Pardeiro
  • H. Álvarez-Díaz
  • A. Mariño-Callejo
Original Article


Research into anti-tuberculosis treatment has mainly focused on pulmonary tuberculosis (TB), with few studies on pleural-TB. The aim of the study is to compare the long-term efficacy of a 6-month treatment regimen with isoniazid and rifampicin (6HR) with treatment regimen of isoniazid, rifampicin, and pyrazinamide (6HR2Z) for pleural-TB. A case-control study of 200 HIV-negative patients with pleural-TB prospectively followed in our TB-unit from 1995 to 2018. The primary resistance to isoniazid is < 4% in our geographic area. Pleural-TB diagnosis was based on a positive culture for M. tuberculosis (84 patients), presence of caseating granulomas in pleural biopsy (28), or characteristics of pleural fluid (88). A comparative study of demographic and clinical characteristics between the treatment groups was carried out. Out of the 200 patients followed, (112 males, 88 females; mean age 32.9 ± 18.4 years), 99 patients were treated with 6HR regimen and 101 with 6HR2Z. The groups were comparable, except the 6HR2Z had larger size of pleural effusion. All patients completed the treatment. The group treated with 6HR presented fewer adverse effects (15.3%) than 6HR2Z group (33%), p = 0.005, and lower frequency of severe hepatic toxicity (5% vs 10.9%). Four patients died from causes other than TB during treatment with 6HR2Z, and all other patients were cured during a monitoring period for 8.4 years (IQRs, 3.3–14.3). Six patients in 6HR and 10 in 6HR2Z developed residual pachypleuritis. 6HR is as effective as 6HR2Z treatment for pleural-TB, with fewer adverse effects.


Tuberculosis Epidemiology Tuberculosis Pleural tuberculosis Therapy 


Compliance with ethical standards

The study has been approved by the institutional research ethics committee and has been carried out in accordance with the ethical standards established in the Declaration of Helsinki of 1964. The informed consent of all the individual participants included in the study was obtained.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Infectious Diseases Unit, Department of Internal MedicineUniversity Hospital of Ferrol, SergasFerrolSpain
  2. 2.Department of PharmacyUniversity Hospital of Ferrol, SergasFerrolSpain

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