Mortality in smear-negative tuberculosis patients in Phalombe

  • JCJ Calis
  • ML Bakker
  • RB Elens
  • M Borgdorff
  • AD Harries


In two hospitals in Malawi, where HIV prevalence among tuberculosis patients is 80-90%, the treatment outcome in patients registered with smear-negative pulmonary tuberculosis was determined in relation to chest x-ray (CXR) findings and certain laboratory parameters. Of 70 patients who were registered and treated, 32 (46%) were known to have died. Mortality was particularly high in those with a normal / minimally abnormal CXR (62%) and in those with a white cell count of less than 3.5 x 109 /l (77%). The reasons for this high mortality among patients with smear-negative PTB are not known and requires more research.

[Malawi Med J. Vol.14(2) 2002: 13-14]

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eISSN: 1995-7262
print ISSN: 1995-7262