BACKGROUND--Antimycobacterial therapy for disseminated Mycobacterium avium complex (DMAC) in patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) may ameliorate symptoms and decrease bacteremia. However, no studies have demonstrated improved survival in patients with AIDS treated for DMAC. We assessed the effects of treatment of DMAC on the survival of patients with AIDS. METHODS--We retrospectively reviewed records of patients with AIDS and DMAC seen at two San Francisco, Calif, hospitals between January 1, 1988, and January 1, 1990. The treatment group (N = 76) consisted of patients who received 2 weeks or more of antimycobacterial therapy with at least three agents. The untreated group (N = 74) received either no therapy or isoniazid alone. Patients in both groups lived a minimum of 2 weeks after the diagnosis of DMAC. RESULTS--The median survival in the treatment group was 191 days, compared with 80 days in the untreated group. In a multivariate proportional hazards model (N = 145), both treatment of DMAC (relative hazard = 0.34; 95% confidence interval, 0.23 to 0.51) and treatment with zidovudine (relative hazard = 0.54; 95% confidence interval, 0.36 to 0.82) were associated with improved survival. CONCLUSION--Patients with AIDS and DMAC who are treated with antimycobacterial drugs may survive longer than untreated patients. We recommend that a randomized trial be conducted to evaluate the optimal treatment of DMAC.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Primary care physicians play an important role in identifying and treating bacterial infections in adults infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Mycobacterium avium complex and Mycobacterium tuberculosis are pathogens that can cause systemic or local infection in these patients. We review the epidemiology, pathogenesis, clinical presentation, and principles of treatment for these two mycobacterial pathogens. Because M tuberculosis disease is preventable and curable and yet communicable, physicians should maintain a high degree of suspicion for tuberculosis in HIV-infected adults. In comparison, the goal of treating M avium complex in patients with advanced HIV disease is to reduce constitutional symptoms and improve survival.
Western Journal of Medicine 09/1992; 157(2):144-8.
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