Monitoring treatment response to anti-tuberculous therapy remains unsatisfactory in resource-limited countries where sophisticated and expensive tests are not readily available. Sputum culture for mycobacterium is desirable, but not obtainable in many developing countries. Sputum acid-fast bacilli (AFB) smear alone can be misinterpreted in the presence of unviable bacilli or non-tuberculous mycobacteria. Hence the search for a cheaper but reliable monitoring tool, or a combination of several tools, continues. Interesting reports from studies in third world nations have considered weight gain/loss as one such monitoring tool. Since pulmonary tuberculosis is endemic in this country, we take the opportunity to evaluate weight gain and chest radiograph, compared to sputum AFB smear in monitoring patient's response.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.