Impact of early chest radiography and empirical antibiotherapy on delay in the diagnosis of pulmonary tuberculosis.
Med Mal Infect. 2012 Mar;42(3):110-3
Authors: Gatey C, Tattevin P, Rioux C, Ducot B, Meyer L, Bouvet E
OBJECTIVE: The treatment of community-acquired pneumonia relies on empirical antibacterial treatment, guided by chest X-ray. We evaluated the impact of this practice on delay in the diagnosis of pulmonary tuberculosis.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: We performed a retrospective monocentric study on 64 documented cases of pulmonary tuberculosis.
RESULTS: Empirical antibacterial treatment was prescribed between the first symptoms and pulmonary tuberculosis diagnosis in 42.2% of cases. The median delay between first contact with a healthcare provider and pulmonary tuberculosis treatment initiation (medical delay) was 13.5 days. The factors associated with medical delay above 30 days were alcohol abuse (OR 7.62; P = 0.02), and late chest X-ray (OR 9.33; P = 0.01). Empirical antibacterial treatment was more frequent in case of late chest X-ray (P = 0.02) and increased the risk of medical delay above 7 days (OR 6.3; P = 0.05).
CONCLUSION: When lower respiratory tract infection is suspected, early chest X-ray reduces the empirical use of antibacterial agents and decreases delay in the diagnosis of pulmonary tuberculosis.
PMID: 22398329 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]