Cohort analysis of treatment outcomes is the most informative technique to evaluate the tuberculosis (TB) control programme. The aim of the study was to assess treatment outcomes comparing the smear- versus the culture-based methods, using data on TB patients treated under programme conditions in Italy. This was a prospective monitoring study based on the standardized collection of forms from a representative sample of Italian TB Units. The forms, with individual data, were reviewed and analysed on a quarterly basis according to the principles of cohort analysis, using both the smear- and culture-based methods. The complete bacteriological profile of patients was analysed at diagnosis and at completion of treatment. Nine hundred and ninety-two TB cases were notified. Among 681 pulmonary cases, 368 cases were culture-confirmed at diagnosis (333 new and 35 retreatment cases, 293 being sputum smear positive, 79.6%). At the end of treatment, out of the 333 new culture-confirmed cases, 136 (40.8%) were defined cured using the culture- based method and 108 (32.4%) using the smear-based method (p2 test). The culture-based method is the recommended tool to evaluate pulmonary tuberculosis treatment results. Culture allows a more precise definition of a 'cured' patient in both sputum smear positive and negative tuberculosis cases.
- Sputum smear
- Treatment outcomes
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine