Recommendations Concerning the Therapeutic Approach to Immunocompromised Children with Tuberculosis

Laura Lancella, Luisa Galli, Elena Chiappini, Carlotta Montagnani, Clara Gabiano, Silvia Garazzino, Nicola Principi, Marina Tadolini, Alberto Matteelli, Giovanni Battista Migliori, Alberto Villani, Maurizio De Martino, Susanna Esposito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose This article describes the recommendations of a group of scientific societies concerning the therapeutic approach to immunocompromised children with tuberculosis (TB). Methods Using the Consensus Conference method, relevant publications in English were identified by a systematic review of MEDLINE and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews from their inception until December 31, 2014. Findings On the basis of their clinical experience and the published evidence, the group of experts concluded that, although immunosuppressed subjects are at greater risk of developing TB, none of the signs or symptoms is sensitive or specific enough to enable a diagnosis. Immunocompromised patients are at greater risk of developing extrapulmonary forms of TB, especially if they are adolescents, whereas pulmonary forms are more prevalent among younger patients. When TB is suspected, a combination of skin and immunologic tests and other clinical, radiologic, and microbiologic examinations can be used to assess the risk of infection or disease. If the TB diagnosis is confirmed, immunocompromised children should be treated by using a standard regimen with a minimum of 4 drugs for at least 9 to 12 months, during which the tolerability of the drugs and their interactions should be carefully evaluated. Implications It is difficult to diagnose and treat TB in immunocompromised children. Thus, all pediatric patients undergoing immunosuppressive therapy who develop TB should be diagnosed and treated at a TB reference center, which should also be responsible for the recommended follow-up.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)180-190
Number of pages11
JournalClinical Therapeutics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2016


  • HIV
  • immunodeficiency
  • immunosuppressants
  • Key words children
  • TB
  • tuberculosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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