Pulmonary Disease Caused by Rapidly Growing Mycobacteria: A Retrospective Study of 44 Cases in Japan.
ABSTRACT Background: The features of pulmonary disease caused by rapidly growing mycobacteria (RGM) have not been sufficiently documented. Objectives: To establish these features, we retrospectively evaluated 44 patients. Methods: We screened respiratory isolates at the National Toneyama Hospital (Osaka, Japan) between 2003 and 2007. Diagnosis was based on the latest guidelines of the American Thoracic Society. The patients were classified into 3 types according to their radiographic findings: fibrocavitary, nodular bronchiectatic and unclassified variant. Results: We obtained 1,348 nontuberculous mycobacteria respiratory isolates from 1,187 patients, including 119 RGM isolates from 100 patients. Forty-four of these 100 patients were definitively diagnosed with respiratory disease due to RGM. The most common pathogen was Mycobacteriumabscessus, which accounted for 65.9% of cases, followed by Mycobacterium fortuitum at 20.5%. There was a statistically significant difference in smoking history between patients infected with these 4 RGM species (excluding those with an unknown smoking history; p = 0.039). The overall evaluation of radiographic findings revealed 18.2% as fibrocavitary, 43.2% as nodular bronchiectatic and 38.6% as unclassified variants in these 44 patients. There was a significant difference in radiographic findings between the 4 RGM species (p = 0.002). There was also a significant difference in radiographic findings between M. abscessus and M. fortuitum infected patients (p = 0.022). Conclusions: Patients with M. abscessus seem to have less of a smoking history and more frequent nodular bronchiectatic radiographic patterns than patients with M. fortuitum. In contrast, fibrocavitary patterns might be more frequent with M. fortuitum infection.
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ABSTRACT: A 70-year-old woman with methotrexate (MTX)-refractory rheumatoid arthritis (RA) was referred to our hospital for introduction of biological therapy. On high-resolution computed tomography scans, the patient exhibited abnormal findings such as bronchiectasis and centrilobular small nodules, which were highly suggestive of pulmonary nontuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) disease. Although mycobacterial cultures of sputum specimens yielded negative results, cultures of bronchoalveolar lavage fluids grew Mycobacterium abscessus. Frequent follow-up chest radiographs indicated that the patient's pulmonary disease became rapidly worse in 1 month following dose escalation of MTX and administration of low-dose prednisolone. Oral clarithromycin and levofloxacin, chosen on the basis of in vitro susceptibility testing, led to a dramatic recovery from this potentially life-threatening complication. Through our experience with this case, we have learned that (1) pulmonary M. abscessus disease can progress rapidly, even during nonbiological anti-RA therapy; (2) regular follow-up chest radiographs are useful to ensure timely implementation of anti-NTM treatment; (3) bronchoscopic testing should be considered when patients are suspected of pulmonary NTM disease but do not meet the diagnostic criteria; and (4) early isolation, identification, and susceptibility testing of causative NTM species are critical for favorable outcomes.Journal of Infection and Chemotherapy 02/2013; · 1.55 Impact Factor