Tuberculosis in children undergoing hemodialysis
Gargah Tahar1, Goucha-Louzir Rim2, Lakhoua Mohamed Rachid1
1Department of Pediatric Nephrology, 2Department of Nephrology, Charles Nicolle Hospital, Tunis, Tunisia
Abstract: Tuberculosis (TB) remains a public health problem in Tunisia. Its incidence is higher in immunocompromised hosts than in the general population. In children and during hemodialysis, TB is characterized by the frequency of extrapulmonary localizations and diagnostic difficulties. The aim of this retrospective study is to evaluate the incidence of TB in Tunisian children undergoing hemodialysis and to determine its clinical features as well as the results of chemotherapy.
Method: This retrospective study includes seven TB children among 112 children on hemodialysis at the pediatric nephrology department in Charles Nicolle Hospital from 2002 to 2008. The diagnosis of TB was established by a combination of clinical, radiological, biochemical, microbiological, and histological examinations. Treatment with anti-TB drugs, the results of therapy, and the outcome of patients were noted.
Results: There were four girls and three boys aged 10 to 16 years (mean, 13 years). They had been on hemodialysis for 2 to 5 years (mean, 3 years). Noted clinical features were weight loss and fever in five cases, chest pain in one case, cervical lymph node in one case, and spinal pain in one case. The organ systems involved were pleural in two cases, pulmonary in one case, peritoneal in one case, cervical lymphatic in one case, and spinal in one case. One patient was treated empirically with a good response. Diagnosis was made by isolation of mycobacterium TB in three cases, by specific histological signs observed in a lymph node biopsy in one case, in peritoneal biopsy in one case, and in discovertebral biopsy in one case. In the remaining patient, the clinical and radiological presentations were compatible with pulmonary TB. All patients received four anti-TB drugs: isoniazid, rifampicin, pyrazinamide, and ethambutol. One patient died with miliary TB. The other patients had favorable outcomes.
Conclusions: TB in hemodialysis children has a nonspecific clinical presentation. Extrapulmonary locations are most common. Diagnosis is often difficult, but successful outcomes are possible when made at an early stage.
Keywords: child, hemodialysis, tuberculosis
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